Dear friends and colleagues,
On behalf of the Anviron team, I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year! The Anviron story continues to be one of twists, surprises, and truly good fortune. This past year saw important patents awarded, breakthrough discoveries published, and resources secured to support next year’s planned clinical trials of our compounds. A sincere “Thank You!” to our partners and investors for your contributions, it is through your efforts that our amazing journey continues.
Anviron compounds, ANV221 & ANV322, target the abnormal expression of cell surface proteins that cancers often adopt to support their growth. ANV221 received FDA Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of pancreatic cancer based on our safety, superiority over standard of care chemotherapies, and synergies with other chemotherapies. While targeting the “glycoprotein” environment of cancer was an emerging field, it remained far from mainstream. In 2023, the field has exploded and we find ourselves in a great race, a race for the next blockbuster cancer drug and Anviron is rising to the challenge. We hope, with your continued support, to emerge the winner.
· Blockbuster breast cancer discoveries published:
In July of 2023, an immense, multi-University study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Yang 2023), looking at drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancers. HER2-positive breast cancer has historically poor prognosis and in advanced cases, standard of care chemotherapies stop working, usually within 12 months of treatment. In this study, three world class research institutions and 18 researchers collaborated and concluded that blocking the initiating enzyme to the glycoprotein program, DPAGT1, re-sensitized tumors to anti-HER2 chemotherapies, restoring their effectiveness, and shrinking the tumors. Researchers concluded that if a safe inhibitor of DPAGT1 could be found, this would have profound implications in extending patient survival in drug resistant HER2-positive breast cancers and called out Anviron’s compounds (ANV221 & ANV322) for further study.
· Notable News:
ANV221 & ANV322 are the first, safe inhibitors of DPAGT1 and the Yang study recognizes them as promising candidates to rescue drug resistant, HER2-positive breast cancers, paving the way for investment into these important assets.
· Patents in 2023: We are excited to announce that ANV221 & ANV322 were awarded patents this year. Patents for ANV221 and ANV322 published in the United States with ANV221 further publishing in the important pharmaceutical market of Japan. Healthcare economists estimate that a patented and FDA approved oncology compound has a value of over $12 Billion and we are working hard to expand these protections for our compounds and our discovery platform.
· Seed investment in 2023 and next steps: Over the summer we closed our first seed funding round. We recruited breast cancer and metastasis specialist Jing Yang, PhD, along with pharmaceutical manufacturing specialist Mark McKennon, PhD. Doctors Yang and McKennon join our outstanding board of oncologists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, and drug development specialists.
· Breakthrough breast cancer therapeutics: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and, unfortunately, diagnosis in younger women tend to favor the more aggressive subtypes like HER2-positive. Before anti-HER2 drugs like trastuzumab (Herceptin), a HER2-positive diagnosis had the lowest survival rate of all breast cancers. Despite recent therapy advances, disease recurrence of this stubborn cancer is all too common and often inevitable. Anviron candidates represent a potential breakthrough in rescuing drug resistant, HER2-positive breast cancers. There are more than a dozen FDA approved anti-HER2 cancer therapeutics, representing a market of over $12 Billion in sales, yet these drugs all suffer the same fundamental handicap. ANV221 & ANV322 target this handicap and potentially improve the effectiveness of all anti-HER2 drugs approved for treatment, thus saving lives.
We are under no illusion that time is the enemy for patients with these conditions and Anviron is committed to advancing our candidates into clinical trials. But we can’t maintain our lead in this race alone. We are grateful to our team, our investors, and our world class partners that are pushing us forward. I thank you all for supporting us on this journey and we look forward to doing amazing things in 2024. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.
Bradley Morrison, Co-founder