TORONTO and SAN DIEGO (Feb. 26, 2015) — Triphase Accelerator Corporation has entered into an academic center collaboration with Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI), the research arm of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a MaRS Innovation member institution. MaRS Innovation is also a Triphase investor.
Under the agreement, SRI will assist in the development of Triphase’s novel, first-in-class, fully human bi-specific antibody TRPH 011 and evaluate the role of bifunctional targeting of VEGFR-2 and TIE 2 receptors in cancer. TRPH 011 binds and neutralizes VEGFR-2/KDR and TIE 2 receptors simultaneously, resulting in sustained inhibition of tumor growth and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels and a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a benign to a malignant state).
Under the terms of the agreement, Triphase will provide funding to the laboratory of Dr. Robert S. Kerbel, senior scientist in the Biological Sciences Platform at SRI. Dr. Kerbel and his colleagues will evaluate TRPH 011 in preclinical pharmacology models. Triphase will use the findings to advance the TRPH 011 program toward an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing.
“Triphase approaches drug development by using a unique model that is faster and more cost-effective than traditional drug development approaches,” said Mohit Trikha, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, executive vice president, and head of R&D at Triphase. “This academic-industry collaboration with Sunnybrook and Dr. Kerbel, a world-renowned expert in the field of tumor angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapy, will expand our unique drug development model in a mutually beneficial way to advance TRPH 011. It will also improve our mechanistic understanding of whether dual targeting of the VEGFR2 and TIE 2 axis is better than targeting just one of these angiogenesis pathways. Dr. Kerbel’s expertise in tumor angiogenesis and tumor biology will be invaluable as we pursue our goal of developing this novel biological therapy to improve the lives of cancer patients.”
“Given my nearly 40 years of research in tumor biology and my particular research focus on angiogenesis, I am looking forward to collaborating with Triphase in this unique academic/industry partnership to evaluate TRPH 011 and better understand the dual targeting of the VEGFR-2 and TIE 2 pathways in cancer,” said Dr. Kerbel.
In addition to his role at Sunnybrook, Dr. Kerbel is a professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Tumor Biology, Angiogenesis and Antiangiogenic Therapy. His main research interest is devising new strategies to improve the efficacy of cancer treatments and reduce toxicity. His research has focused on understanding the basis of tumor angiogenesis and designing new therapeutic strategies for advanced metastatic disease based on vascular targeting and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. He has elucidated mechanisms of VEGF-pathway targeting drugs and development of resistance to them, linked the fields of angiogenesis and oncogenes, and uncovered mechanisms by which antiangiogenic drugs increase chemotherapy efficacy and alter malignant tumor progression.
Triphase, a private drug development company with a primary focus on oncology and with operations in Toronto and San Diego, is dedicated to advancing novel compounds through Phase II proof-of-concept clinical studies using a unique, science-based, high-quality model that is faster and more cost-effective than traditional pharmaceutical and biotech industry drug development approaches. Triphase was spun out of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), with support from MaRS Innovation and MaRS Discovery District, and has a strategic relationship with Celgene for oncology-focused drug development opportunities.