Telormedix’s program around Toll-like receptor 7 and the clinical developments for the localized treatment of bladder cancer.




Episode Loading...




PharmaTelevision requires Javascript enabled and Adobe Flash Player to watch our programmes. If you do not have Flash installed, you can download it for free from the Adobe Flash homepage.

Improve your Internet experience and start watching exciting new video content.

Video title: Telormedix’s program around Toll-like receptor 7 and the clinical developments for the localized treatment of bladder cancer.
Released on: February 02, 2011. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
Share/save this page:
Email
Bookmark
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Follow us:
RSS
Twitter
  • Summary
  • Transcript
  • Participants
  • Company
In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Dr Johanna Holldack, CEO of Telormedix
Lead compound and formulation technology
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here in Munich at BIO-Europe 2010. On this show I have Johanna Holldack, who is CEO of the company called Telormedix based in Switzerland, welcome to the show.
Johanna Holldack:
Thank you very much.
Fintan Walton:
Johanna Holldack, your company is a relatively new company, it was founded in 2007 it's based in Switzerland, tell us about the company Telormedix?
Johanna Holldack:
Well you know in a way it's a really unique company, first of all at the very beginning it raised one of the biggest rounds A rounds in Europe with 21 million Swiss Franc and that allowed us to develop our lead compound and it allowed us to build a portfolio, and we are kind of proud to say that only after two and a half years we have been able to move our first compound into clinical development, so we started at the beginning of this year a Phase I/II clinical trial in bladder cancer and we have treated the first patients and it's going really well and of course that is a key value driver. So we are young biotech company, but we have already a compound in clinical trials and we are building a portfolio.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so let's just look at structure of this, so first of all tell us little bit more about the products that you've got going into clinical trials or is in clinical trials, because it's from an existing product that you've reformulated, tell us about that story?
Johanna Holldack:
Well if you look at imiquimod which is on the market as Aldara which is now off patent is a compound that has a good efficacy profile in topical cancers in actinic keratoses and basal cell Carcinoma and in genital warts that is actually has been the first indication, so what we did we reformulated it, we have a patented formulation that allows the safe insulation into the bladder and it's a formulation that allows the compound to stick to the wall of the bladder and therefore increase the efficacy. What these compounds do, what imiquimod and agonist to the toll-like receptor 7 do is they induce pro-inflammatory cytokines, so you induce a topical inflammation and that inflammation kills the tumor cells. So the intensity of the inflammation is directly correlated to the antitumor effect. So what we have to do in Phase I is find the right dose where the patient still can tolerate the inflammation, but where you have already a strong antitumor effect.
Clinical trial strategy in bladder cancer
Fintan Walton:
Right, and the type of clinical trials you are conducting right now what sort of patients, where are they in the terms of the progression of the disease and what is your clinical strategy in that bladder cancer?
Johanna Holldack:
The clinical trial is performed in the Netherlands in different sites, and the first part of the clinical trial is in patients where the tumor has been completely removed and it's a classical dose escalation trial, just last week we have been in the position to go to the next dose level and so far it's gone really well, and once we have established a safety we will start a second part of the clinical trial in patients where we leave in a marker lesion, a marker lesion means a little rest of the tumor that allows us to establish the optimal biological dose, so find the dose where the patient has not too many side effect, but where the tumor disappears and that has been established in clinical trials that those market lesion trials are really predictive for the antitumor effect of compounds.
Importance and basis of collaboration with UCSD Moore's cancer center
Fintan Walton:
Right, now another key component to your company you've mentioned already is the collaboration that you have with in California, in San Diego, could you tell us about that and why that is an important collaboration?
Johanna Holldack:
Okay, Dennis Carson, the head of the lab and the head of the Moore Centre in San Diego is a co-founder of the company, and he has been involved in the whole history and he is very much involved today in all the scientific activities that we are doing, all the compounds that we develop are derived from his lab, our research department is basically located in his lab they perform the proof of concept, animal experiments once the compounds have been defined and then once we have established the proof of concept we take it on and do the more formal development, but it's a very close cooperation, we talk and exchange data and e-mails almost daily.
Fintan Walton:
So what is the specific target that you use and is the basis of this collaboration, could you tell us about and why it's important for the types of areas that you are progressing?
Johanna Holldack:
Okay, everything we do and I think it's important for a small company to focus it's around toll-like receptor 7, there is a whole family of toll-like receptor and they are part of the innate immune system. The toll-like receptor 7 differentiates itself from all the other toll-like receptors by that you can stimulate it with small molecules all the other toll-like receptors are activated by the peptides, proteins, some oligos and this toll-like receptor is an intracellular compound, so therefore it's very important to develop compounds that have a chance to have a high intracellular concentration.
Fintan Walton:
So with this underlying capability where does that lead you, what therapeutic areas can you go with the toll-like 7 receptor?
Johanna Holldack:
Well there are different things you can do, what we are going to do we will focus on our compounds or what we develop on topical cancer indications, but there are other indications in autoimmune diseases, anti-inflammatory indications that we try to establish co-operations with companies that have more know-how in that area and we are making progress in identifying those future partners. And then I should mention that one of the compound is a strong vaccine adjuvant we have really striking data and since we don't want to be a vaccine company we've established a cooperation with the Tropical institute in Basil and we are working on some cooperation's with vaccine companies and then we will do further experiments and then may be license this particular product of the company.
Other molecules and indication areas
Fintan Walton:
Right, so just look at the compounds that are coming through currently, I mean obviously you've got your lead compound that you've just talked about which is for bladder cancer, so you've got a group of other molecules coming through just briefly describe those molecules?
Johanna Holldack:
Yes, this what we call the 20X family and they, they will first be developed in actinic keratoses and basal cell carcinoma, topical skin cancer, in the long run we might develop it in bladder cancer as well, but there is no hurry, I mean we hope to get a compound to the market and then it doesn't make sense to have something two-year or three-years later already, but we might explore that opportunity, and then the 30X family will be developed in tissue repair and anti-inflammatory indications.
Future aspirations of Telormedix
Fintan Walton:
Right, so the company as you've said is just barely three-years old?
Johanna Holldack:
Right.
Fintan Walton:
And so where do you go with it, I mean you obviously you've got to focus on your lead compound and start you know for pushing up further into clinical through clinical trials, so what are your aspirations for the company over the next three to five-years?
Johanna Holldack:
Well our primary goal and really the highest priority right now is to finish that clinical trial and depending on how many dose escalation steps we have to do that will happen by in the second half of 2011. Then there will be a time where we need to make some major strategic decisions to shall we go out and raise more money or we seeking an exit that all depends on the financial environment and then depends on the quality of the data obviously, but so the short-term goal is finishing the clinical trial and establishing the proof of concept in humans for the bladder cancer compound.
Fintan Walton:
Johanna Holldack, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Johanna Holldack:
Thank you very much for having me.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Johanna Holldack
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Johanna Holldack , has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years, where she has held key positions in both start-up and large pharma companies. Her experience includes management and executive positions at Behringwerke, Chiron, MediGene and Borean Pharma. Dr. Johanna Holldack has a medical degree from Georg-August-University in Gottingen, Germany and is a Board Certified pediatrician. In addition, she has held positions as an assistant professor at the University of Essen, research fellow for the Deutsche Krebshilfe and a research associate at Harvard Medical School.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
Telormedix
Telormedix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company founded in 2007 and focused on targeted immunity in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The Company's lead product, TMX-101, is currently investigated in a clinical trial for the localized treatment of bladder cancer, a disease of unmet medical need. TMX-101 is a new formulation of a clinically active small molecule compound specifically optimized for treating bladder cancer. Telormedix also has an additional pipeline of product candidates targeting cancer and autoimmune diseases. The Company's discovery capability, managed under an exclusive licensing agreement, draws on years of experience and the world class research standing of its academic partner. Located in Switzerland, Telormedix is led by a highly experienced management team and is privately held, backed by an international consortium of venture capitalists including Aravis Venture (Basel, Switzerland), Proquest Investments (Princeton-San Diego, USA), BSI S.A. (Lugano, Switzerland), Nextech Venture (Zurich Switzerland) and Generali Insurance Group (Italy).