AgilVax announced the company has triggered Phase II funding of $2 million from its Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). AgilVax reached the Phase I goals ahead of schedule, which enabled the early initiation of the Phase II portion of the grant. Phase II is focused on studies that support an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for AgilVax’s lead product, AX09. As a result of the grant award, AgilVax selected a prominent Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) and initiated cGMP manufacturing of AX09.
AX09 is being developed as an antibody-based therapy for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer by inhibiting the function of xCT, which is associated with tumor growth and metastatic progression. xCT overexpression occurs in several cancers leading to overarching metabolic changes that reprogram cells for tumor growth and survival. AgilVax’s AX09 shows significant anti-xCT immune response in preclinical breast cancer models, where tumor impairment and reduced metastatic progression have been demonstrated. Several peer reviewed publications elucidate the preclinical evidence of AX09 and the importance of xCT in cancer metastasis.