December 14, 2017, Nagoya, Japan – AskAt Inc. (AskAt), a bio-pharmaceutical venture company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan (Akihiro Furuta, President), today announced a worldwide licensing agreement in immuno-oncology with Arrys Therapeutics, Inc. (Arrys) for two, structurally different Prostaglandin E2 receptor 4 (EP4) antagonists [AAT-007 and AAT-008]. Arrys is a newly established bio-venture company dedicated to develop novel immuno-oncology therapy headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Under the terms of the Agreement, AskAt will receive upfront, development, and commercial milestone payments potentially exceeding (US) $1.2 billion, in addition to sales royalties. This Agreement covers all territories except China.
Arrys was launched by OrbiMed and Atlas Venture to develop immuno-oncology therapeutics. Arrys President & CEO Iain Dukes commented, “We believe that an EP4 antagonist offers a unique opportunity to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that drives resistance to multiple cancer therapies.”
AAT-007 and AAT-008 have demonstrated potent anti-tumor activities in animal cancer models, including lung, breast, colon, gastroenterological, prostate, liver and more. Combination with current and future therapies could dramatically improve cancer therapy. The compounds demonstrated synergistic anti-tumor activity in combination with currently available immunotherapies in pre-clinical testing. EP4 antagonism broadly stimulates the immune system in tumors by enabling NK and cytotoxic T-cells to attack cancer cells. AskAt President Furuta commented, “This Agreement marks a very exciting next step in the development of AskAt’s EP4 antagonists. Building on the impressive results we have seen thus far, the AskAt team hopes that they will emerge as an important therapy in the body’s immune response to fight cancer.”
AskAt Inc. (askat-inc.com) is an open collaboration catalyst, a life sciences company built to accelerate innovation in small molecule R&D. AskAt’s team is comprised of highly experienced professionals designing and implementing optimized platforms and value-enhancing life cycle partnering opportunities around core intellectual property. AskAt’s R&D programs are focused on areas of critical, unmet patient needs, including cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, pain, autoimmune disorders, and blindness caused by macular degeneration.
Arrys Therapeutics, Inc. (www.arrystherapeutics.com) was established by investments from U.S.-based investors OrbiMed and Atlas Venture.
OrbiMed (www.orbimed.com) is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with over $14 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational companies. OrbiMed’s team of more than 90 employees manages a series of private equity funds, public equity funds, royalty/debt funds and other investment vehicles. OrbiMed maintains its headquarters in New York City, with additional offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Mumbai and Herzliya.
About Atlas Venture.
Atlas Venture is a leading biotech venture capital firm. With the goal of doing well by doing good, we have been building breakthrough biotech startups since 1993. We work side by side with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to translate high impact science into medicines for patients. Our seed-led venture creation strategy rigorously selects and focuses investment on the most compelling opportunities to build scalable businesses and realize value. For more information, please visit www.atlasventure.com.