Targeting the tumor microenvironment

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A letter to CryptoMedix Founders and Shareholders

Despite another challenging COVID-19 year for the biotech industry, CryptoMedix Inc. has continued to make excellent scientific progress through the lab:

The CryptoMedix story in now squarely in the hot immuno-oncology and TME (tumor microenvironment) space as the major mechanism of action (MOA) of our technology platform:

Our first-in-class therapeutic antibodies promote the migration/function of cytotoxic T-cells (which kill tumor cells), and inhibit the migration/function of tumor-suppressive macrophages in the TME.

Moreover, there is exciting synergy of CMX-101 and -102 with PD(L)1 immune-checkpoint inhibitors, based on a novel and unique mechanism of action (MOA), i.e., through proteasome-mediated degradation of the PDL1 protein. This has resulted in two newly issued U.S. patents - which is important since our old composition of matter patents have meanwhile expired.

PD(L)1 immune-checkpoint inhibitors have meanwhile reached ww sales of more than $ 20 billion (!) per year, although they only work in a limited number of patients and tumor types. Hence, the search for compounds which enhance the activity of PD(L)1 inhibitors in those patients were their activity is limited, has become the big challenge and race in current oncology drug discovery.

Moreover, our therapeutic antibodies also interact with other immune-checkpoints such as LAG-3 (and yet another novel checkpoint, to be disclosed soon), further broadening the immuno-oncology aspect of our story.

CMX-102 has recently attracted significant interest (perhaps more than CMX-101) since it is stationary in the TME, and therefore particularly suitable to be used as ADCs (antibody-drug conjugates) or conjugates with radionuclides. The ADC/radionuclide field has recently undergone a major Renaissance, due to the availability of better antibodies to more specifically target tumor cells. In this context, CMX-102 has a particularly superb specificity for the TME vs. normal tissues. However, is it more than ‘just’ a delivery ‘missile’ to target toxins or cytotoxics to the TME, since it also has intrinsic anti-tumor activity on its own!

However, to remain realistic:

Despite the scientific excitement we feel, our antibodies are still in a very early pre-clinical stage of research/development; while the current focus of the financial and pharma markets is on clinical stage synergistic products.

Hence, despite continued excellent scientific progress, our very extensive business development activities/discussions during 2021 -with both potential VC funds AND, particularly, with a number of potential biotech and pharma partners, have not (yet) led to any partnering breakthroughs (mostly because the story is ‘still too early' in the development process).

Thus, our financial situation remains challenging. Management (including myself) have therefore chipped in with some funding, to keep the company going, but we need additional funding (or partners) to be able to move forward. We are currently also looking into grant applications.

Please find enclosed our updated current brief Corporate Introduction Package - which summarizes our new immuno-oncology focus (please read my brief ‘Synopsis’ first, to set the overall framework).

On a very positive note:

Through my personal network in the biotech/pharma industry, I have been able to attract two world-class oncology experts to our CryptoMedix story, both of whom will be happy to get involved as scientific advisors or members of the scientific advisory board:

  • Prof. Luke O’Neill, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading immunology experts -an area where we have only limited internal scientific expertise. Luke is a distinguished Professor of Immunology at Trinity College in Dublin (he has one of the world’s leading scientific citation index in immunology). Luke has also co-founded a number of biotech companies, particularly in oncology (see enclosed Luke’s C.V.).
  • Dr. Jean Pierre Bizzari, M.D., is a medical oncologist and one of the world’s most successful and influential clinical oncology developers - having led the successful development and market introduction of 10 cancer drugs.

    Jean Pierre was ww Head of Clinical Oncology at big biotech oncology company Celgene in the U.S. for many years, and before that he was head of oncology at Sanofi-Pasteur. Jean Pierre has spearheaded accelerated approval paths during his highly successful tenure at Celgene.

    Jean Pierre is extremely well connected in the biotech and pharma industry and will introduce us to a number of new biotech and mid-sized pharma companies during 2022. (see enclosed Jean Pierre’s C.V.)

We hope that this may help with our BD activities, to find a potential biotech/pharma development partner(s) in 2022.

Wishing all a healthy and prosperous New Year!