A year of milestones for cancer biotech Prescient Therapeutics

Healthcare’s biggest market lies in the treatment of cancer, oncology, which in 2021 was estimated to be worth US$280 billion and expected to grow at an 8.2% compound annual growth rate to US$536 billion by 2029.

Healthcare’s biggest market lies in the treatment of cancer, oncology, which in 2021 was estimated to be worth US$280 billion and expected to grow at an 8.2% compound annual growth rate to US$536 billion by 2029.

Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX) is a Australian biotech that has positioned itself at the forefront of the oncology within the market’s fastest growing sector –  cell therapy, namely chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) – which alone is expected to be worth more than US$37 billion by 2028.

CAR-T is considered to be the new paradigm shift in cancer treatment that uses living immune cells as the ‘ultimate weapon’ against cancer. Renowned clinician and researcher, Professor Carl June, has even asserted that CAR-T therapies may have curative potential in certain cancers.

Despite the slew of industry headwinds over the past 12 months, the CAR-T sector continued to grow with the total number of CAR-T programs increasing to 2,412 (up 80%), more than 800 clinical trials (up 14%) and more than 220 target antigens discovered (up 63%).

Prescient Therapeutics sees itself at the forefront of this industry because of its next generation cancer fighting platforms that are capable of targeting any kind of cancer – as well as its affiliation with ‘top pedigree’ cancer institutes around the world.

Led by CEO and Managing Director Steven Yatomi-Clarke, the company has achieved a number of milestones over the calendar year 2022.

“2022 has been an especially turbulent time for the markets with macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns provoking a flight from riskier asset classes,” Mr Yatomi-Clarke said.“While share prices might fluctuate, I believe in the inherent value of Prescient and remain confident in our diversified pipeline that belies our size, de-risks the company and gives us many shots on goal.”

Progressing a steadily growing portfolio and pipeline

The CEO makes a fair point regarding the company’s diversified pipeline; with its PTX-100 (licenced from Yale University) and PTX-200 targeted therapies moving steadily through its clinical stages and being granted ‘orphan drug’ status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In collaboration with the world-renowned Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Prescient has also developed cell therapy enhancements that seek to improve the effectiveness of the current-generation of CAR-T therapies.

Over the year, Prescient subsequently unveiled its clinic-ready CellPryme-M cell therapy enhancement platform which opens up commercial avenues for more external collaborations and its CellPryme-A platform – a novel adjuvant/neoadjuvant for enhancing cellular immunotherapy.

The jewel in Prescient’s crown is its OmniCAR next-generation cell therapy platform which was developed using technology licensed from the pioneers of CAR-T, the University of Pennsylvania, as well as Oxford University.

“The ‘plug and play’ nature of the OmniCAR platform has the unique potential to create something that has not been achieved before – creating a personalised cancer treatment ecosystem,” Mr Yatomi-Clarke said.

“OmniCAR has the ability to enhance third party CAR programs, which can also build out the ecosystem. Before OmniCAR, this was not possible.”

The OmniCAR platform has demonstrated encouraging results to date and a key US patent in July 2022 protects the platform in the world’s largest healthcare market out to at least 2039.

Maintaining momentum through 2022

In August 2022, Prescient signed an agreement with a global healthcare leader to accelerate development and commercialisation of a highly scalable version of OmniCAR. In the same month, the company entered an agreement with cell therapy manufacturer Q-Gen Cell Therapeutics to manufacture OmniCAR cell lines for upcoming clinical trials.

In September 2022, Prescient partnered with the largest cancer centre in the US, the MD Anderson Cancer Centre to create best-in-class, adaptable CAR-T cell therapies to treat certain types of cancers by combining Prescient’s OmniCAR with MD Anderson’s undisclosed proprietary binder.

Capitalising on the newsflow, the company embarked on a capital raise via a share purchase plan (SPP) – oversubscribed at $8.76 million – and a follow-up placement, which took Prescient’s raise total to approximately $11.3 million.

“With a further strengthened balance sheet, Prescient is able to maintain its impressive development momentum, deploying these funds astutely for the benefit of patients and shareholders alike,” Mr Yatomi-Clarke said.

Some market observers expect the US biotech sector to regain traction in 2023 as the industry continues to deliver on technical, regulatory and commercial fronts, the clean-out from generalist investors ends, inflation fears diminish, increased activity in biotech funding and mergers and acquisitions.  

As at 31st October 2022, Prescient reported a cash balance of $21.9 million and, in its latest AGM, expressed the intention to take advantage of expected market catalysts in 2023, progress its assets and build more awareness of Prescient’s programs within the industry among institutions, clinicians and investors.

Click here to register your interest on the Prescient Therapeutics investor portal to stay up to date with company news and announcements.

Reach Corporate provides Corporate Advisory Services, including managing investor communications on behalf of Prescient Therapeutics Limited and may receive fees for its services.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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