Combination with Tecentriq

Separately, Forty Seven said it will team up with Genentech to sponsor two clinical trials combining Hu5F9-G4 with the Roche subsidiary’s PD-L1 antibody Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and with urothelial (bladder) cancer.

“There is a large unmet medical need for new therapies for AML and bladder cancer patients, particularly those who are elderly or have compromised organ function and are not able to withstand the side-effects of chemotherapy,” stated Forty Seven’s chief business officer Craig Gibbs, Ph.D., MBA. “We are excited to evaluate these novel combinations in collaboration with a global leader in oncology.”

Tecentriq is an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody granted accelerated approval by the FDA in April 2017 for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who are not eligible for cisplatin chemotherapy, or have disease progression during or following any platinum-containing chemotherapy, or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy.

That approval was the agency’s second for Tecentriq. In October 2016, the FDA authorized the treatment for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients demonstrating disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy and whose disease progressed on an appropriate FDA-approved targeted therapy if their tumor had epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene abnormalities.

Forty Seven was established in 2015 by a team of cancer biology and immunology researchers at Stanford University who partnered with experts in drug development, production, and distribution, as well as venture capital firms to launch the company.

In October 2017, Forty Seven closed on a $75 million Series B financing, saying it would use the proceeds to support continued development of Hu5F9-G4. New investor Wellington Management Company led the financing, which featured participation from GV (Google Ventures) and three other existing investors—Clarus, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Sutter Hill Ventures.

Last month, Forty Seven won a $5 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine toward an ongoing clinical trial assessing Hu5F9-G4 alone and in combination with azacytidine in patients with AML and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).