ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwired - Nov 21, 2014) - BeneVir Biopharm, Inc., a biotechnology company developing a pipeline of cancer immunotherapies, today announced it closed a Series A investment round with Pansend, LLC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of HC2 Holdings, Inc. (
BeneVir's core technology was licensed from New York University (NYU) and originally developed by Ian J. Mohr, Ph.D., NYU Langone Medical Center. BeneVir used this core technology to develop a pipeline of cancer immunotherapy drug candidates that affect antigen presentation in both tumor cells and antigen presenting cells. BeneVir's pipeline consists of oncolytic viruses delivered locally or systemically. Once inside tumors, the viruses selectively destroy cancer cells, evade elimination by the immune system, and activate multiple classes of anti-tumor immune cells. This multi-mechanistic approach builds upon key elements of both oncolytic virus and immune-checkpoint inhibitor approaches to cancer treatment and is designed to block the major methods that tumors use to subvert the immune system. Proceeds of the financing will be used to conduct initial proof-of-concept clinical studies of BeneVir's lead product, further develop the pipeline, and establish partnerships to test promising combination therapies in a diverse set of metastatic solid tumors.
Dr. Mohr will head BeneVir's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Mohr discovered and patented SUP1, an attenuated, replication competent Herpes Simplex Virus. The SUP1 patent was licensed to BioVex as part of the patent portfolio protecting T-Vec, which is the only oncolytic virus to successfully complete a US Phase 3 clinical trial and is currently under FDA review. In addition, Dr. Alan Frey of NYU Langone Medical Center will join the SAB. Frey is a leading tumor immunologist investigating the mechanism by which tumors inhibit cytolytic T-lymphocytes.
"BeneVir intends to rapidly advance its lead candidate to the clinic. We look forward to working closely with Dr. David Present and Cherine Eldumiati Plumaker of Pansend as we move our programs forward and address the unmet medical needs of patients living with difficult-to-treat cancers," said BeneVir CEO Matt Mulvey, Ph.D.
Philip Falcone, HC2 Chairman, President, and CEO, stated, "We are pleased to be making this investment in BeneVir Biopharm, Inc., and its pioneering oncolytic virus platforms for the treatment of malignant solid tumors. We look forward to supporting Dr. Mulvey and his team in advancing this exciting technology."
Andrew Koopman, Associate Director of New Ventures at the NYU Office of Industrial Liaison, stated, "Working with both BeneVir and Pansend has been extremely gratifying. Their diligence and commitment contribute greatly to the mission of NYU and the Office of Industrial Liaison to promote the commercial development of world-class research into products to benefit the public."
BeneVir is a privately held biopharmaceutical company founded in 2011 with offices and laboratories located in Rockville, MD. BeneVir is developing a novel platform of cancer immuno-therapies based on oncolytic viruses to help patients with hard-to-treat cancers. In 2012, BeneVir received two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Cancer Institute, which supported proof-of-concept studies. Learn more about BeneVir at http://www.benevir.com
About HC2 Holdings, Inc.
HC2 operates as a holding company of operating subsidiaries primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. HC2 owns 91% of Schuff International Inc., a leading provider of structural steel fabrication, erection and engineering support services in the United States. HC2 also owns Global Marine Systems Limited, which is a global offshore engineering company and provider of engineering and underwater services, responding to the subsea cable installation, maintenance and burial requirements of its world-wide customer base. HC2's indirectly wholly owned subsidiary PTGi International Carrier Services, Inc. operates direct routes and provides premium voice communication services for national telecom operators, mobile operators, wholesale carriers, prepaid operators, voice over internet service operators and Internet service providers. HC2 owns a majority interest in ANG Holding, Inc., a natural gas fueling company. HC2's indirectly wholly owned subsidiary Pansend, LLC owns 80% of Genovel Orthopedics, Inc., a company that seeks to develop products to treat early osteoarthritis of the knee. HC2 also has several non-controlling investments, including a 17% equity stake in Novatel Wireless, which designs and develops wireless communications technologies, and a minority interest in NerVve Technologies, Inc., an information technology company. Founded in 1994, HC2 is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.
Forward Looking Statements
"Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains, and certain oral statements made by our representatives from time to time may contain, forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the commencement or completion of the offering. Generally, forward-looking statements include information describing the offering and other actions, events, results, strategies and expectations and are generally identifiable by use of the words "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "plans," "seeks," "estimates," "projects," "may," "will," "could," "might," or "continues" or similar expressions. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of HC2's management and the management of HC2's subsidiaries (including target businesses). Factors that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ include, without limitation, capital market conditions, the ability of HC2's subsidiaries (including, target businesses following their acquisition) to generate sufficient net income and cash flows to make upstream cash distributions, HC2 and its subsidiaries ability to identify any suitable future acquisition opportunities, efficiencies/cost avoidance, cost savings, income and margins, growth, economies of scale, combined operations, future economic performance, conditions to, and the timetable for, completing the integration of financial reporting of acquired or target businesses with HC2 or HC2 subsidiaries, completing future acquisitions and dispositions, litigation, potential and contingent liabilities, management's plans, changes in regulations, taxes and the risks that may affect the performance of the operating subsidiaries of HC2 and those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in HC2's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements described herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results, events or developments referenced herein will occur or be realized. HC2 does not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operation results.
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