Investors back Chimeric Therapeutics on ASX debut

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A strong debut on the ASX for Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) with investors backing the company that is focused on the development of CAR-T cell therapies for solid tumours.

The company initial public offering (IPO) raised $35 million at an offer price of $0.20 per share. The company ended its first trading day at $0.295 per share.

Chimeric is developing CAR-T cell therapies for solid tumours based on research conducted at the City of Hope (COH) Cancer Centre in Los Angeles.

The company has acquired exclusive global rights to develop and commercialise its chlorotoxin (CLTX-) CAR T technology developed at the lab of Professors Christine Brown and Michael Barish.

Professor Brown chairs Chimeric’s Scientific Advisory Board.

"Preclinical models have established potent activity against glioblastoma (GBM) from CLTX-CAR T cell therapy," said the company.

GBM is the most common and aggressive type of brain tumour with overall survival following the first recurrence estimated at just five to eight months.

CLTX is derived from scorpion toxin that binds preferentially to unique targets on brain cancer cells.

Chimeric said CLTX-CAR-T cells do not target healthy cells and do not elicit adverse side effects when delivered intracranial and through intravenous routes in brain cancer mouse models. The cells also bind to a higher percentage of GBM tumours than immunotherapies against other targets.

The phase one clinical trial of the CLTX-CAR-T technology is currently underway with the first patient dosed in late 2020. Approximately 18 patients are expected to be part of the open-label trial that is expected to be completed in 18-24 months. The first data expected in the second half of 2021.

Chimeric says it has attracted an "outstanding" US-based senior management team. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jennifer Chow joined Chimeric from Kite Pharmaceuticals where she was head of global marketing, analytics and commercial operations. Ms Chow was also previously the global cell therapy commercial lead at Celgene.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Syed Rizvi joins Chimeric from Legend Biotech where he served as vice president of clinical development, medical affairs and clinical sciences and led the global co-development activities for Cilta-cel (JNJ4528), a B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed CAR T cell therapy. Dr Rizvi was also formerly the global medical affairs head of Celgene CAR-T Program.

Chimeric is chaired by Australian biotech entrepreneur Paul Hopper. Mr Hopper is the executive chairman and founder of Imugene (ASX:IMU) and the former chairman of Viralytics (ASX:VLA), which was acquired by MSD in 2018 for $502 million.

Chimeric said it will use funds from the IPO for the phase one clinical trial of the CLTX-CAR-T at COH and to further develop an oncology focused pipeline of novel cell therapies.

“The team at Chimeric has been overwhelmed with the support for the IPO and what we believe is a highly promising technology in an attractive area of immuno-oncology,” said Mr Hopper.

“The IPO allows us to further develop the CLTX-CAR T therapy and extend it to patients with an unmet need, including those suffering from GBM as well as other solid tumours.

“We would like to thank our new and existing shareholders for their support and look forward to sharing in the growth of the business as we strive to deliver value via both clinical and commercial outcomes.”

Bell Potter and Baker Young were Joint Lead Managers to the IPO.