Home Interviews Oncoinvent strengthens board and cash position

Oncoinvent strengthens board and cash position


Oncoinvent strengthens board and cash position

24 April, 2024

Oncoinvent has appointed esteemed industry leaders to its Board of Directors, led by Gillies O’Bryan-Tear as Chairman. Furthermore, the company has completed a private placement round of NOK 71 million, which enables advancement to phase IIb with Radspherin. BioStock reached out to Gillies O’Bryan-Tear for a comment.

Oncoinvent is a privately held Norwegian radiopharmaceuticals company, founded in 2010 by Roy Larsen and Øyvind Bruland, who also founded Algeta, Nordic Nanovector and Artbio. Algeta made it to the headlines in 2013 when it was acquired by Bayer for USD 2.9 billion.

Oncoinvent’s lead product candidate is Radspherin, a novel alpha-emitting therapy designed for local treatment of metastatic cancers in body cavities. Radspherin is currently undergoing two clinical phase I/IIa studies targeting peritoneal carcinomatosis from ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer. Interim read-outs are expected in Q4 this year, while final data is anticipated in Q2 2025 for colorectal cancer and Q4 2025 for ovarian cancer.

Capital raise of up to NOK 200 million

Following the IND clearances, Oncoinvent is gearing up to initiate a phase IIb trial with Radspherin in ovarian cancer in Q2. To finance the continued development and manufacturing scale-up, Oncoinvent is currently conducting a capital raise. An initial private placement of NOK 71 million has been completed, mainly directed to internal investors. Oncoinvent aims to secure additional funding from new investors in Q2, up to the limit of the ongoing capital raise set at NOK 200 million.

CEO Anders Månsson estimates that a total capital investment of USD 50 million will be needed to reach the ideal exit point (“ready for phase III”).

Strengthens board for the next phase

To prepare for the next steps in the development, Oncoinvent has appointed new members of the Board of Directors; Gillies O’Bryan-Tear, Ingrid Teigland Akay, Kari Grønås, Hilde Steineger and Orlando Oliveira. Together, they bring a wealth of expertise spanning clinical development, large-scale production, business development and financing.

– The newly elected members of the board will be pivotal as Oncoinvent enters late-stage clinical development, with phase IIb set to commence this quarter. Oncoinvent stands out as the sole independent and privately-owned nuclear medicine company advancing into late-stage development, which puts us in a favourable position towards investors, says Anders Månsson, CEO of Oncoinvent.

Founders will lead Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board

The company’s founding scientist and former board members, Roy Larsen and Øyvind Bruland, will continue to guide the company by leading a newly formed Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board.

I am very pleased that the founders will continue to contribute to the company by leading the new advisory board. Additionally, we welcome globally recognized experts in radiopharmaceuticals to the Board of Directors. Our leading VC partner Hadean also holds a seat on the board, further strengthening our strategic alignment, says Anders Månsson.

Insights from Gillies O’Bryan-Tear, new Chairman

Oncoinvent’s board will be led by Gillies O’Bryan-Tear, with over 30 years of experience in clinical development, medical management and commercial roles. He has held senior leadership positions at a range of pharma and biotech companies in the US and Europe, including Sanofi Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GSK, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Algeta.

Gillies O'Bryan-Tear
Gillies O’Bryan-Tear

BioStock got in touch with Gillies O’Bryan-Tear to delve deeper into his decision to take on the role as Chairman at Oncoinvent.

First of all, what motivated you to join Oncoinvent as Chairman of the board?

– Well of course the founders Roy Larsen and Oyvind Bruland are old friends from the Algeta days. The technology struck me as typical of their creative approach: an underserved indication (peritoneal cancer) for which there is no really effective treatment; a “simple” idea (all the best ideas seem simple) which should work in the patient population targeted; and the very encouraging early clinical data which speaks for itself. It was an easy decision!

How does your experience and expertise align with the current phase of development at Oncoinvent?

–  In the course of my career I have had the privilege to help develop and bring to market a number of oncology medicines, with both large and small companies. I was Chief Medical Officer at Algeta where we brought the first alpha pharmaceutical – Xofigo – to market, and it was the first commercially successful radiation medicine because of its excellent efficacy in prostate cancer. This has led to the founding and growth of a number of radiopharmaceutical companies, including several which have made successful exits recently, such as Rayze-Bio and Fusion (where I was on the Scientific Advisory Board).

– Whilst I was a non-executive director of Clarity, an Australian company developing copper isotopes for a variety of cancers, we listed the company on the ASX in 2021, raising AUD 100 million. I feel that my experience of developing alpha-pharmaceuticals, and on the boards of smaller biotech companies, gives me the right experience to take on the challenge of growing Oncoinvent to the next stage of its own development, and in time bringing Radspherin to market.

What milestones will the initial capital injection of NOK 71 million enable the company to achieve?

– The NOK 71 million, which we hope will rise to 80 million after a repair round, will enable the company to initiate its phase IIb program. As soon as possible, we also want to scale up manufacturing of our lead product, Radspherin, which is essential to supporting a later phase III program.

The company is currently seeking additional funding from external investors. What makes Oncoinvent stand out as a compelling investment opportunity, in your opinion?

–  Oncoinvent is the only independently held Radiopharmaceutical company with a product in mid-stage clinical trials. It has in-house manufacturing, and the product targets an area of high unmet need – peritoneal metastases, which are common in ovarian and colorectal cancer. We have data from two phase I/IIa studies which show the product is both well tolerated and has promising evidence of efficacy compared to historical controls. Finally, this is an alpha emitting pharmaceutical, with a high potency and cancer cell kill ratio, and a low risk of bystander toxicity: a favorable therapeutic ratio compared to the much commoner beta emitters.

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.

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