HAYWARD, Calif. – Eikon Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company that is advancing breakthrough therapeutics through the purposeful integration of engineering and science, today announced it has acquired exclusive rights to multiple early- to mid-stage assets, leveraging its proprietary Single Molecule Tracking (SMT) technology to drive strategic decisions around its new drug pipeline.
Eikon successfully completed three transactions, including the acquisition of global rights to develop and commercialize clinical-stage Toll-like receptor 7 and 8 (TLR7/8) agonist immune modulators from Seven and Eight Biotherapeutics Corp. that have been tested in over 150 patients with advanced, refractory, solid tumors. These immune modulators have shown tolerable safety and activity both as monotherapy and in combination with PD-(L)1 inhibitors.
The company has also licensed a portfolio of PARP1-selective inhibitors invented by Impact Therapeutics and intended to improve upon existing unselective dual PARP1/2 inhibitory agents in cancer treatment. Lastly, Eikon has acquired a suite of preclinical assets from Cleave Therapeutics that address targets involved in protein homeostasis, DNA damage repair and chromatin remodeling, areas that have importance in cancer and in neurodegenerative disease.
“With the acquisition of these very different clinical assets, Eikon has taken an important step in building a diverse portfolio, at different stages of the development cycle, which address significant unmet medical needs. Our team brings decades of clinical and regulatory experience to these development programs, combined with scientific rigor born from the integration of advanced engineering, sophisticated data analysis, and breakthrough research utilizing AI-powered super-resolution microscopy,” said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and Board Chair of Eikon Therapeutics. “Each of these new programs will complement the progress we have made in our pioneering discovery platform, translating protein population dynamics measurements into discoveries that will enable the development of important new medicines.”
Beyond completing these business development transactions, Eikon has closed the first tranche of a Series C equity financing, adding nearly $106 million that will provide meaningful support for the clinical programs. This first Series C close brings Eikon’s total capital raised to nearly $775 million since its founding in late 2019. The financing included strong participation from existing investors as well as adding several new strategic investors.
“We are delighted the Eikon team will continue our progress in the TLR7/8 field and will conduct the future clinical development and ultimately commercialize our novel TLR7/8 agonists. Eikon and its highly experienced immuno-oncology team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing industry leading anti-PD-1 therapies, and we believe they will be uniquely positioned to advance our first-in-class TLR7/8 agonists as potential treatments for multiple tumor types,” said Walter Lau, Ph.D., CEO of Seven and Eight Biotherapeutics.
As part of its agreement with Impact Therapeutics, Eikon will work to bring the IND-ready asset IMP1734, a highly selective PARP1 inhibitor, into clinical development. Under the collaboration agreement, Eikon received an exclusive license to co-develop, register, manufacture and commercialize IMP1734 and other PARP1 selective inhibitors globally, excluding Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). Eikon and Impact plan to file a U.S. Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for this program by the end of the third quarter of 2023. The partnership also includes a second brain-penetrant PARP1-selective inhibitor that Eikon will collaborate with Impact to take forward into the clinic.
Impact CEO Sui Xiong Cai, Ph.D., said, “The Eikon team brings years of experience in oncology to the development of these important assets. Our companies are aligned in our vision of providing new and better treatment options to cancer patients globally.”
Eikon’s internally developed programs currently focus on preclinical drug candidates targeting indications in oncology, immunology, and neurologic disease. The development of these early-stage candidates is supported by Eikon’s pioneering applications of super-resolution microscopy, which permit protein population dynamics measurements in millions of live cells per day, in real time. Such measurements provide fundamental information about the interactions among proteins in normal and diseased cells. Eikon’s proprietary instruments will also be employed to help advance the TLR7/8 agonists, PARP1-selective inhibitors, and other in-licensed therapeutic candidates. These highly sophisticated, AI-driven, protein population dynamics measurements will influence the design of clinical trials.
“Our business development strategy is focused on high-potential assets that Eikon is uniquely positioned to develop, and which complement our internal discovery programs,” said Roy Baynes, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Eikon. “Our team has a well-documented track record of developing some of the world’s most therapeutically meaningful and commercially successful medicines. This positions Eikon well to bring a broad range of new drug candidates successfully through regulatory review and approval to people who seek better treatments for a range of grievous illnesses.”
About Eikon Therapeutics
Eikon Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company working to advance breakthrough therapeutics through the purposeful integration of engineering and science. Our proprietary platform leverages Nobel Prize-winning super-resolution microscopy, advanced engineering, and high-performance computing to measure the real-time movement of individual proteins and protein populations in living cells, with the goal of bringing important new medicines to people suffering from grievous illness. Eikon is headquartered in California and can be found online via our website or on Twitter or LinkedIn.