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invoX Pharma has made a second tranche of investment in pHion Therapeutics to support further development of next-generation mRNA vaccines.
invoX Pharma, a UK-based wholly owned subsidiary of China-based Sino Biopharmaceutical, announced on June 1, 2023 the completion of a second tranche of investment in pHion Therapeutics, a UK-based vaccine development company. The investment is meant to further develop next-generation messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
The investment will support growth of pHion’s proprietary RALA platform. One of the first priorities will be the advancement of PTX_V1, pHion’s lead project, into clinical trials in the first half of 2024. PTX_V1 is a first-in-class therapeutic vaccine in development for treating human papilloma virus-related cancers. pHion’s pipeline also includes differentiated therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of ovarian (PTX_V5) and prostate (PTX_V3) cancers.
Operating with its RALA platform, pHion can deliver anionic molecules such as mRNA and self-amplifying RNA in a stealth-like way. This behavior evades detection and allows for the generation of a potent antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell response. The benefit of the RALA peptide-based drug delivery system lays in its 30-amino-acid sequence, which condenses anionic cargo—irrespective of size—into nanoparticles that are highly efficient at cellular entry and are able to outperform currently available technologies, according to a company press release. Compared with traditional mRNA vaccine delivery platforms, the RALA platform’s advantage includes ease of scalability and logistics, including stability at room temperature.
“At pHion Therapeutics, it is our mission to pioneer next-generation, first-in-class vaccines for infectious disease and oncology through stealth-like delivery of mRNA. With the additional support from invoX, we are set to accelerate our lead candidate, PTX_V1, to be ready for the clinic in 2024 and further develop our exciting preclinical pipeline of therapeutic and prophylactic mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines have the potential to truly transform healthcare interventions globally, and pHion will be at the forefront of this transformation, enabled by the RALA platform delivery technology,” said Helen McCarthy, CEO and founder of pHion, in the press release.
“We are delighted to have completed this additional investment in pHion,” said Ben Toogood, CEO of invoX, in the release. “invoX’s resources, global reach, and innovative R&D platform can help the company reach its potential and deliver treatments for patients around the world suffering from cancer and infectious diseases. We look forward to seeing PTX_V1 reach the clinic and supporting this program into the next stages of its development.”
Source: invoX Pharma