Innate breathes new life into CTX FAK assets

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Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTX), a small molecule oncology drug discovery and development group, has announced that two Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) targeting drug candidates it originally developed have been acquired by Innate Immunotherapeutics through its acquisition of Amplia Therapeutics.

FAK is emerging as a promising target in both combination cancer therapy and fibrosis.

Amplia had previously in-licensed the two FAK targeting drug candidates from Cancer Research Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK. The drug candidates were originally developed by CTX.

All the shares in Amplia, a privately owned Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company, have now been acquired by ASX-listed Innate.  The previous shareholders of Amplia now own 45 percent of the total issued capital of Innate and the Board and management of Innate now includes representatives from Amplia. 

“Successful development of these potentially beneficial drugs should eventually see benefits flow back to our original partners,” said CTX Advisor, Dr Warwick Tong. “CTX was established to translate good research, provide benefits for patients and see commercial rewards flow back to the biotechnology sector in Australia."

According to Innate director, Dr Robert Peach, "There have been multiple independent high-quality publications suggesting that the successful targeting of FAK could increase the efficacy of other immuno-oncology therapies in tumours where to date they have limited anti-tumour effects as single agents."

He continued, CTx have done an excellent job selecting and characterizing AMP886 and AMP945 before licensing them to Cancer Research Technology Limited."

Dr Mark Devlin, CTX director of translation biology, has been appointed as a Scientific Advisor to Innate.