— Unanticipated late opposition by major Organovo stockholder results in termination of proposed merger agreement —
— Tarveda continues advancement of current Pentarin® miniature drug conjugate clinical programs towards key clinical milestones —
Tarveda Therapeutics, Inc. ("Tarveda"), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of potent and selective precision oncology medicines, which it refers to as Pentarin® miniature drug conjugates, for the treatment of patients with various solid tumor malignancies, today announced that the proposed merger agreement with Organovo Holdings, Inc. ("Organovo") (Nasdaq: ONVO) has been terminated following the emergence of unanticipated, late opposition to the proposed transaction by major Organovo stockholders.
"We are disappointed that we will be unable to proceed with the planned transaction with Organovo. While surprised by the late decision of Organovo’s major stockholders to vote against the recommendation of Organovo’s special committee with the apparent intent to pursue a strategy which may include 3D bioprinting, we respect their decision," said Drew Fromkin, Chief Executive Officer of Tarveda. "We thank Organovo’s Board of Directors for choosing Tarveda from over 80 companies that expressed interest in their strategic process and wish them the best going forward. Regardless of this outcome, we remain committed to advancing our clinical programs and pipeline of Pentarin® miniature drug conjugates, for the benefit of oncology patients in dire need of new medicines to treat their solid tumor malignancies."
Recent Tarveda highlights include:
- PEN-866, the first clinical program from its Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) binding miniature drug conjugate platform, has produced encouraging safety, therapeutic index and efficacy developments from the now completed Phase 1 portion of its Phase 1/2a clinical trial, an "all comers" trial with advanced oncology patients. Data from this program is expected to be presented in a virtual poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting commencing on May 29, 2020.
- In March 2020, Tarveda announced that it entered into a licensing agreement for PEN-866 with SciClone Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. for Greater China, which includes an upfront cash payment, as well as potential significant future milestones, development support and royalties.
- PEN-221, which is in Phase 2a clinical evaluation for the treatment of patients with tumors expressing somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) on the cell surface, such as gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors and small cell lung cancer, continues to mature as planned and has expected data readouts later in 2020 and into early 2021.
- Discovery efforts continue to accelerate on several potential new candidates from its HSP90 binding miniature drug conjugate platform, focusing on additional anti-cancer payloads such as kinase inhibitors and radioisotopes.
About Tarveda Therapeutics®, Inc.
Tarveda Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of potent and selective precision oncology medicines, which it refers to as Pentarin® miniature drug conjugates, for the treatment of patients with various solid tumor malignancies. Tarveda’s Pentarin® miniature drug conjugates are designed to take the best properties of both small molecule drugs and antibody drug conjugates to form a miniature drug conjugate able to penetrate into solid tumors, selectively bind to the desired tumor targets and accumulate the anti-cancer payloads directly in tumor cells. The anti-cancer payload is retained in tumor and then released over time causing the anti-cancer payload to become active in the tumor.
Tarveda currently has two Pentarin® miniature drug conjugates in clinical trials. Its first clinical program, PEN-866, is the initial candidate from HSP90 binding miniature drug conjugate platform. HSP90 is a molecular chaperone that is highly activated in the harsh tumor environment across a wide range of solid tumor cancers, but which remains relatively dormant in normal tissue. Tarveda’s binding moieties of its HSP90 binding miniature drug conjugates have been shown to bind with high affinity to HSP90, which is frequently activated and overexpressed in solid tumor cells. PEN-866 has completed its Phase 1 dose escalation portion of its "all comers" trial in various types of solid tumors. In addition to PEN-866, Tarveda is developing additional miniature drug conjugates on its HSP90 binding miniature drug conjugate platform to target other promising anti-cancer payloads such as kinase inhibitors and radioisotopes to solid tumors. Tarveda’s second clinical program, PEN-221, is a Pentarin® miniature drug conjugate currently in clinical evaluation for the treatment of patients with solid tumors expressing SSTR2 on the cell surface as is seen in neuroendocrine tumors and small cell lung cancer. PEN-221 is currently progressing through its Phase 2a trial. For more information regarding Tarveda, go to: https://www.tarvedatx.com/.
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