AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) announced today that it has acquired Seattle-based Mavupharma, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on novel approaches to target the STING (STimulator of INterferon Genes) pathway for the treatment of cancer.
STING pathway signaling plays an important role in the generation of an immune response directed at tumors, and enhancing STING signaling has shown promise in a variety of tumor models. STING pathway stimulation has the potential to increase the susceptibility of tumors and broaden treatment options for patients.
“AbbVie’s vision in oncology is to advance breakthrough areas of science leading to a strong pipeline of innovative cancer therapies,” said Steve Davidsen, Ph.D., vice president of oncology discovery, AbbVie. “Mavupharma’s platform has the potential to further our immuno-oncology portfolio and assist in the development of transformative medicines for patients.”
Mavupharma’s lead clinical candidate is MAVU-104, a first-in-class, orally active, small molecule inhibitor of ENPP1, an enzyme involved in the regulation of the STING pathway. Inhibiting ENPP1 activity with MAVU-104 allows for highly controlled enhancement of STING signaling in tumors without the need for injections.
“AbbVie has built a leadership position in oncology and their world-class capabilities will enable the accelerated development of our pipeline of STING modulators,” said Michael Gallatin, Ph.D., former president and a co-founder of Mavupharma.
“We made tremendous strides in developing our novel STING modulators and advancing MAVU-104 towards the clinic. We are confident in AbbVie’s ability to continue to advance this exciting science for patients,” added former chief scientific officer and co-founder Gregory Dietsch, Ph.D.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Mavupharma is a drug discovery company focused on novel approaches to selectively targeting the STING pathway, leveraging the innate immune system to treat cancer. Mavupharma was founded in 2016, leveraging the expertise of its founders to invent and characterize novel approaches selectively targeting the STING pathway. Mavupharma completed a $20 Million Series A financing led by Frazier Healthcare Partners and joined by Alpine BioVentures in 2017.
AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
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