Danish biotech Chosa Oncology has had an eventful start of 2023. Following the RhoVac-transaction, the company is eagerly awaiting reply from an ASCO abstract application to publish phase IIb-results with its drug candidate LiPlaCis. CEO Peter Buhl comments on the Q4 report released earlier this week.
Chosa Oncologys development is focused on its iCIP concept, which consists of the cancer treatment candidate LiPlaCis and the companion diagnostic tool cisplatin DRP. LiPlaCis is a liposome formulation of the chemotherapy cisplatin, that aims to enhance the treatment outcomes while limiting the negative side effects. Cisplatin DRP, on the other hand, is a drug response predictor tool to make sure that the drug is targeted towards patients that have a high probability to respond to the treatment.
You can learn more about Chosa and the iCIP concept here.
Reverse take-over completed
Chosa started the year with closing the reversed merger deal with Lund-based RhoVac, effectively owning approximately 70 per cent of the joint company. The name has also officially been changed, with the ticker symbol listed on Spotlight Stock Market now being CHOSA. At the same time, we´re getting closer to the last part of the due diligence process to take the share off the observation list.
This marks a new chapter on the journey for all the original holders of RhoVac shares and the last part of. Right now, they are in a similar position as they were this time last year, with a promising oncology candidate heading for phase IIb publication.
Strong phase IIb results
In the phase II study, the iCIP-concept has been tested in patients suffering from breast cancer. According to Chosa, the phase 2b study results are strong. An abstract has been prepared for this year’s edition of the ASCO conference, being held in Chicago on the 2:nd – 6:th of June. The abstract “will form the backbone for discussions with potential partners at the conference”, Chosa writes.
Convertible loan being paid back
Last year RhoVac issued a convertible loan for the financing of the business development, given a positive phase II readout with their candidate onilcamotide. With the negative readout the convertible loan is set to be paid back in full. According to the Q4 report, the outstanding amount sits at approximately 15 MSEK. It is to be paid back as soon as the company gains access to the tax credit for 2021 and the last part of the Horizon 2020 grant. Chosa expects for the grant to be paid in the spring of 2023.
Comments from the CEO
BioStock contacted Chosa Oncology CEO Peter Buhl for a comment on the report, the start of 2023 and to get his expectations for the rest of the year.
Firstly, you just exited a busy period with the RhoVac acquisition now being completed. How would you describe the start of the year?
– We are truly excited about the study results and believe that the data we have obtained for the group of patients that are in the upper 20 per cent score holds the promise of iCIP to make a real change in cancer patients lives.
In the Q4 report you describe the results from your phase II study as being strong. Could you elaborate on what you have seen so far?
– The study was set up as an adaptive clinical trial design where we started in phase II with dose escalation of the LiPlaCis drug in allcomers with solid tumors. Already then saw an effect in different cancer types like esophagus and skin cancer.
– After adding the gene test as a procedure to the study, results showed that we could clearly differentiate between responders and non-responders. We already knew that we would not be able to benefit all patients as they were heavily pre-treated, late-stage patients, so together with the clinicians we decided to exclude the one third of patients with the lowest score from the study.
– Phase IIb data revealed that responders were in the top 20 per cent score. We have applied for an abstract at this year’s ASCO for the final reporting of the study results.
Looking forward at the rest of 2023, what milestones do you hope to achieve during the year?
– We have two important topics to report from during 2023. The main job for us is finding the right partner or owner of the iCIP project. Therefore, the Chosa team expects to focus on business development activities where we can present the recently obtained exiting results. Secondly, we will interact with the regulatory authorities to agree on the route to marketing approval.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.