Swedish biotech BioInvent strengthened its pipeline of cancer treatments in 2021, entering the new year with four candidates in clinical phase, which is soon to be expanded with a fifth. Given the higher pace and increased regulatory work this entails, the company has now strengthened the organisation with Marie Moores as Chief Operating Officer. Moores told BioStock about why she chose to take on this challenge, and how she will contribute to BioInvent’s current positive momentum.
BioInvent develops immunomodulatory antibodies for cancer treatment. The primary drug candidate BI-1206 is evaluated in two phase I/IIa studies. In one of the studies the candidate is evaluated in combination with Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in solid tumours, in the other it is used in combination with Genentech’s and Biogen’s Rituxan (rituximab), targeting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).
The pipeline also features the candidates BI-1808 and BT-001 for the treatment of solid tumours, both are in phase I development. This means that BioInvent now has four ongoing clinical programs. In addition, on December 8, 2021, the company submitted a clinical trial application for a phase I/IIa study of BI-1607, a new anti-FcyRIIB antibody for the treatment of patients with solid tumours. When this application is approved, the company will have expanded its project portfolio to four candidates that are evaluated in a total of five clinical studies.
Industry expert as new COO
Given the higher pace in the development work – but also in order for CEO Martin Welschof to focus more on long-term strategic development, new partnerships and capital markets – Marie Moores was appointed Chief Operating Officer in mid-January.
Moores has more than 25 years of experience in the industry and of building businesses focusing on oncology drug development. Before joining BioInvent Marie Moores has been Executive Vice President, International Operations & Early Development at the Norwegian company LINK Medical Research. She previously spent more than 20 years with Theradex Oncology as Director, Clinical and Regulatory Operations for Europe, where she also served as a board member for 18 years.
»Proving our development portfolio continues to grow and to generate promising safety and efficacy data, I expect BioInvent to continue to be able to attract institutional capital and securing deals with large multinational pharmaceutical companies« – Marie Moores, COO BioInvent
The COO comments
On the occasion of Marie Moores formally taking up her position as COO at BioInvent today, February 1, BioStock took theopportunity to ask some questions about her expectations.
Marie, you have spent a long career focusing on regulatory work and drug development. What attracted you to take onthe challenge of being COO at BioInvent?
– During my long career in oncology-focused drug development, I have worked with many international companies developing early and late-stage assets in solid tumours as well as in haematological malignancies. This has given me the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of oncology drug development as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead. I’m looking forward to putting all this experience to good use at BioInvent, to working with the team as well as our partners and to supporting our expanding oncology portfolio. There is a significant need for safer and more targeted anti-cancer therapies in areas of high unmet medical need and I’m delighted to work for a company which is active in this area.
2021 was a good year for BioInvent, both financially and clinically and you will soon have five clinical trials running inparallel. What will be your primary focus?
– My primary focus will be to get involved in all operational aspects including quality assurance as well as commercial strategy planning such as further developing the target product profiles for BioInvent’s drug candidates.
You will also be involved in the commercial strategy planning such as further developing the target product profiles for BioInvent’s drug candidates. Can you elaborate on this?
– The purpose of a target product profile (TPP) is to outline the desired ‘profile’ or characteristics of a target product that, in the case of BioInvent, is aimed at particular cancers, either as monotherapy or in combination with other complementary anti-cancer agents. TPPs state intended use, target populations and other desired attributes of products, including safety and efficacy-related characteristics. Such profiles will guide our product research and development (R&D), frame development in relation to compilation of product dossiers and set internal R&D targets to attract funding and co-development opportunities.
BioInvent has a good track record both in terms of attracting institutional venture capital and securing deals with largemultinational pharmaceutical companies. What are your expectations with regards to these areas?
– Proving our development portfolio continues to grow and to generate promising safety and efficacy data, I expect BioInvent to continue to be able to attract institutional capital and securing deals with large multinational pharmaceutical companies.
Finally, how do you envision BioInvent’s position in three years?
– BioInvent will continue to develop and expand as a fully integrated business with a diversified portfolio of clinical immune oncology assets with the goal of finding new treatment modalities and modes of actions for specific cancers where there a high unmet medical need. Although there is the possibility to integrate BioInvent further into the value chain, the focus on building strong partnerships will remain a priority for the foreseeable future.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.