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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TRACON Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TCON), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel targeted cancer therapeutics and utilizing a cost efficient, CRO-independent product development platform to partner with ex-U.S. companies to develop and commercialize innovative products in the U.S., today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. The Company will host a conference call and webcast today at 4:30 PM Eastern Time / 1:30 PM Pacific Time.
“We have once again utilized our CRO-independent Product Development Platform to augment our pipeline. The license of the potential best-in-class CTLA-4 antibody YH001 complements our prior license of the subcutaneously administered PD-L1 antibody envafolimab and satisfies our goal of owning complementary checkpoint inhibitors. We expect to initiate a trial combining these two drug candidates in sarcoma in the coming months,” said Charles Theuer, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of TRACON. “In the meantime, ENVASARC continues to enroll well at 26 sites, and we look forward to releasing interim efficacy data before the end of the year.”
Recent Corporate Highlights
In October, TRACON licensed the CTLA-4 antibody YH001 from Eucure Biopharma. The Company expects to file an IND and initiate a Phase 1/2 trial of YH001 combined with envafolimab in soft tissue sarcoma subtypes in early 2022, and initiate trials of YH001 in other indications in combination with approved standard of care agents in late 2022.
In September, the book Unnecessary Expense: An Antidote to the Billion Dollar Drug Problem, authored by TRACON senior management and profiling TRACON’s approach to efficient drug development, was published by ForbesBooks and is available on Amazon and other retailers.
Expected Key Upcoming Milestones
Interim ENVASARC efficacy data by end of 2021.
Request FDA breakthrough therapy designation or fast track designation for envafolimab by end of 2021, assuming positive interim efficacy data.
Decision on the envafolimab New Drug Application submitted by our partners 3D Medicines and Alphamab Oncology, in MSI-H/dMMR cancer that is under priority review by the Chinese National Medical Products Administration.
Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $29.9 million at September 30, 2021, compared to $36.1 million at December 31, 2020.
Research and development expenses for the third quarter of 2021 were $2.7 million, compared to $1.8 million for the third quarter of 2020.
General and administrative expenses for the third quarter of 2021 were $4.2 million, compared to $2.1 million for the third quarter of 2020. The increase was primarily attributable to legal expenses incurred due to the ongoing arbitration with I-Mab related to the TJ4309 and bispecific antibody agreements.
Net loss for the third quarter of 2021 was $7.0 million, compared to $4.0 million for the third quarter of 2020.
Conference Call Details
Wednesday, November 3, at 4:30 PM Eastern Time / 1:30 PM Pacific Time
A live webcast of the conference call will be available online from the Investor/Events and Presentations page of the Company’s website at www.traconpharma.com.
After the live webcast, a replay will remain available on TRACON’s website for 60 days.
Envafolimab (KN035), a novel, single-domain antibody against PD-L1, is the first subcutaneously injected PD-(L)1 inhibitor to be studied in pivotal trials. Envafolimab is currently being studied in the ENVASARC Phase 2 pivotal trial in the U.S. sponsored by TRACON, as well as in a Phase 2 pivotal trial as a single agent in MSI-H/dMMR advanced solid tumor patients and a Phase 3 pivotal trial in combination with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin in advanced biliary tract cancer patients in China sponsored by TRACON’s corporate partners, Alphamab Oncology and 3D Medicines. Alphamab Oncology and 3D Medicines submitted an NDA to the NMPA in China for envafolimab in MSI-H/dMMR cancer that was accepted for review in December 2020 and granted priority review in January 2021. In the Phase 2 MSI-H/dMMR advanced solid tumor trial, the confirmed objective response rate (ORR) by blinded independent central review in MSI-H/dMMR colorectal cancer (CRC) patients treated with envafolimab who failed a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan was 32%, which was similar to the 28% confirmed ORR reported in the Opdivo package insert in MSI-H/dMMR CRC patients who failed a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan and the 33% confirmed ORR reported for Keytruda in MSI-H/dMMR CRC patients who failed a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan in cohort A of KEYNOTE-164.
About ENVASARC (NCT04480502)
The ENVASARC pivotal trial is a multicenter, open label, randomized, non-comparative, parallel cohort study at approximately 25 top cancer centers in the United States that began dosing in December 2020. TRACON expects the trial to enroll 160 patients with UPS or MFS who have progressed following one or two lines of prior treatment and have not received an immune checkpoint inhibitor, with 80 patients enrolled into cohort A of treatment with single agent envafolimab and 80 patients enrolled into cohort B of treatment with envafolimab and Yervoy. The primary endpoint is ORR by blinded independent central review with duration of response a key secondary endpoint.
YH001 is an IgG1 antibody against CTLA-4 that has shown enhanced antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) in vitro. In preclinical studies YH001 demonstrated superior T cell activation and superior tumor growth inhibition activity compared to ipilimumab. YH001 also demonstrated superior activity compared to ipilimumab in human transgenic mouse tumor models when combined with a PD-(L)1 antibody. In these models, single agent YH001 depleted regulatory T cells and increased CD8+ T cells in tumor tissue. YH001 is being dosed as a single agent in a Phase 1 trial in China (NCT04699929) and in combination with the PD-1 antibody toripalimab in a Phase 1 trial in Australia (NCT04357756).
TRC102 (methoxyamine) is a novel, small molecule inhibitor of the DNA base excision repair pathway, which is a pathway that causes resistance to alkylating and antimetabolite chemotherapeutics. TRC102 is currently being studied in multiple Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) and has orphan drug designation from the U.S. FDA in malignant glioma, including glioblastoma.
TJ004309 is a novel, humanized antibody against CD73, an ecto-enzyme expressed on stromal cells and tumors that converts extracellular adenosine monophosphate (AMP) to adenosine, which is highly immunosuppressive. TJ004309 is currently being studied in an ongoing Phase 1 trial to assess safety and preliminary efficacy as a single agent and when combined with the PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq in patients with advanced solid tumors.
TRACON develops targeted therapies for cancer utilizing a capital efficient, CRO independent, product development platform. The Company’s clinical-stage pipeline includes: Envafolimab, a PD-L1 single-domain antibody given by rapid subcutaneous injection that is being studied in the pivotal ENVASARC trial for sarcoma; YH001, a potential best-in-class CTLA-4 antibody in Phase 1 development; TRC102, a Phase 2 small molecule drug candidate for the treatment of lung cancer; and TJ004309, a CD73 antibody in Phase 1 development for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. TRACON is actively seeking additional corporate partnerships whereby it leads U.S. regulatory and clinical development and shares in the cost and risk of clinical development and leads U.S. commercialization. In these partnerships TRACON believes it can serve as a solution for companies without clinical and commercial capabilities in the U.S. To learn more about TRACON and its product pipeline, visit TRACON's website at www.traconpharma.com.
Statements made in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward‐looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding TRACON's and its collaboration partners’ plans to further develop product candidates; expectations regarding the timing and scope of clinical trials and availability of clinical data; expected development, regulatory and commercial milestones and timing thereof; potential utility of product candidates; and TRACON’s business development strategy and goals to enter into additional collaborations. Risks that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward‐looking statements include: risks associated with clinical development and regulatory approval of novel pharmaceutical products; whether TRACON or others will be able to complete or initiate clinical trials on TRACON’s expected timelines, if at all, including due to risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic; the fact that future preclinical studies and clinical trials may not be successful or otherwise consistent with results from prior studies; the fact that TRACON has limited control over whether or when third party collaborators complete on-going trials or initiate additional trials of TRACON’s product candidates; the fact that TRACON’s collaboration agreements are subject to early termination; whether TRACON will be able to enter into additional collaboration agreements on favorable terms or at all; potential changes in regulatory requirements in the United States and foreign countries; TRACON’s reliance on third parties for the development of its product candidates, including the conduct of its clinical trials and manufacture of its product candidates; whether TRACON will be able to obtain additional financing; and other risks described in TRACON’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading “Risk Factors”. All forward‐looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made and are based on management’s assumptions and estimates as of such date. TRACON undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.
TRACON Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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