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article imageBiotech startup looking for $115 million from the IPO

By Tim Sandle     Jun 9, 2018 in Science
A new biotech startup from Stanford University called Forty-Seven has announced an initial public offering. This follows on from the presentation of effective data in relation to the company’s monoclonal antibody.
Forty Seven has released data from two proof-of-concept studies, which relate to a new monoclonal antibody. This is to help people with lymphoma. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies produced by identical immune cells which are each clones of a unique parent cell. The proteins can bind to any substances in the body, including cancer cells, which is why monoclonal antibodies are being used to treat some types of cancer.
With the studies, the monoclonal antibody (called 5F9) is designed to target a receptor called CD47, which allows white blood cells to attack cancerous cells. This has been out tested in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. The treatment is initially being tested alongside a drug called rituximab (a medication used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and types of cancer.)
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a cancer of B cells (a white blood cell responsible for producing antibodies). This is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among adults. Follicular lymphoma is a type of blood cancer, defined as a lymphoma of follicle center B-cells (centrocytes and centroblasts) and which has a partially follicular pattern.
Data in relation to patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma showed a response success rate of 40 percent, with a complete response with 33 percent of the patient population. For those with follicular lymphoma, there was a response success rate of 71 percent, with a complete response with 43 percent of that specific patient population
Due to the success of the trials, the biotechnology start-up has taken the decision to file for an initial public offering. From the initial public offering, Forty Seven is seeking to raise $115 million. This will be used to progress its lead candidate product, 5F9.
Discussing the outcomes with Pharmaceutical Processing magazine, Professor Sonali Smith, who was one of the study investigators, said: “Despite recent advancements, there remains a paucity of safe and effective therapies for patients with r/r NHL, especially for patients who are ineligible for transplantation or new cell therapies.”
She adds: “These preliminary data suggest that 5F9 may offer patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma a new treatment option that is both safe and easy to administer, and that can rapidly induce benefit, with a majority of responding patients showing clinical activity at first assessment with several complete remissions.”
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