UK – UK-headquartered Iksuda Therapeutics has announced the closing of a $47m (£34m) financing round, with the funds to be used to support the advancement of its lead antibody drug conjugate (ADC) assets.

This includes the company’s lead pre-clinical ADC candidate IKS03, a potentially ‘best-in-class’ CD19-targeted asset for B-cell cancers.

Iksuda will use the funds to support the progression of IKS03 into first-in-human Phase clinical trials, and will also be used to fast-track its earlier-stage programs.

Currently, the company’s drug development pipeline is focused on the improved safety and efficacy conferred by tumor activated, prodrug payloads in combination with stable conjugation technologies

“This is a transformational investment milestone for Iksuda, enabling us to focus on the progression of our industry-leading ADC programs and bring them to the clinic, while supporting our commercial growth,” said Dave Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of Iksuda.

The funding not only reflects the potential of our technologies, but also the unmatched expertise of the Iksuda team. We are grateful for the support of this group of investors and delighted to welcome them to the team,” he added.

Cancer ranks as a leading cause of death and an important barrier to increasing life expectancy in every country of the world. According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, cancer is the first or second leading cause of death before the age of 70 years in 112 of 183 countries and ranks third or fourth in a further 23 countries.

Overall, the burden of cancer incidence and mortality is rapidly growing worldwide; this reflects both aging and growth of the population as well as changes in the prevalence and distribution of the main risk factors for cancer, several of which are associated with socioeconomic development.

Most countries as well as pharmaceutical manufactures are working relentlessly to provide better treatment and healthcare for affected parties.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recently authorized GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) PD-1 inhibitor Jemperli for the treatment of recurrent or advanced endometrial cancer.

The licensing of Jemperli in the UK adds an important new option for a difficult to treat women’s cancer. Patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer have been historically underserved, with limited treatment options and a poor prognosis,” said Dr Rebecca Kristeleit, consultant medical oncologist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

This bombards the efforts to ensure each and every cancer patient is well taken care of in a mission to try and curb the perilous effects of this health hazard.