Proceeds to Support Key Efficacy Studies for ABI-2280 including Phase 2 Trial in High-Grade Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN 2,3) and Exploratory Study as Treatment for High-Risk HPV Infections
Antiva Biosciences, Inc. biopharmaceutical company developing novel, topical therapeutics for the treatment of pre-cancerous lesions caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, today announced the closing of a $53 million Series E equity financing. The financing was supported by a syndicate of premier life science investors led by MPM-BioImpact Capital, and joined by the company’s existing investors including Canaan Partners, Sofinnova Investments, Adjuvant Capital, GV and Lumira Ventures, among others. In conjunction with the financing, president and chief executive officer Gail Maderis is transitioning to chairman of the company’s board of directors and is being succeeded as CEO by Kristine Ball. Additionally, Ms. Ball, along with Florencia Segal, M.D., and Brian Goodman, Ph.D., both of MPM-BioImpact Capital, will join the Antiva board.
Proceeds from the financing, which will fund the company into late 2025, will support the advancement of the company’s lead development candidate, ABI-2280, into key efficacy studies following completion of its ongoing Phase 1 trials. Planned studies include a Phase 2 clinical trial in high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2,3) and an exploratory study as a potential treatment for high-risk HPV infection, specifically in subtypes that can lead to cancer. ABI-2280 has potent antiviral activity across all serotypes of HPV and works by both directly blocking HPV replication and inducing apoptosis in HPV-infected lesions, while sparing normal cells. Antiva has leveraged its development expertise to formulate a vaginal tablet of ABI-2280 that will enable self-administration at diagnosis and facilitate worldwide distribution, increasing impact potential for patients.
The treatment of high-risk HPV infections with ABI-2280 holds the potential to address a significant global health challenge. HPV infections account for nearly all cases of cervical cancer around the world and an accessible and effective treatment holds the promise to dramatically reduce these cancers. Currently, there are no treatments available to resolve HPV infections and prevent their development into cancer. This remains a crucial unmet medical need with more than 5.5 million women in United States alone affected by high-risk HPV infections each year despite ready access to vaccines.
“We believe that Antiva has the opportunity to make a transformative impact on global health across several large, unmet therapeutic indications with its ABI-2280 program and are thrilled to be able to lead this round of financing. The company has advanced the development of ABI-2280 to patients with CIN 2,3 and is now poised to expand clinical development into high-risk HPV infection. ABI-2280 can make the World Health Organization’s screen-and-treat approach to HPV infection a reality,” said Dr. Segal.
Dr. Goodman added, “With MPM-BioImpact’s growing focus on the field of virology, Antiva represents the type of impactful investment that we are looking to make in this space. We look forward to supporting Kristine in her new role as CEO and seeing the continued progress that is made under her leadership.”
Ms. Ball joins Antiva with more than 20 years of executive experience in the life sciences industry across companies of all stages ranging from discovery to clinical to commercial. She has significant transactional expertise, having participated in multiple initial public offerings, corporate M&A deals, partnerships and financings. Ms. Ball most recently served as chief executive officer of Soteria Biotherapeutics, a venture backed immuno-oncology company and previously held leadership positions at Menlo Therapeutics, Relypsa, Inc., and KAI Pharmaceuticals, and served on the board of Forty Seven, Inc., until its acquisition by Gilead. Ms. Ball currently sits on the board of Atreca, Inc., a publicly traded, clinical-stage oncology company.
“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to join Antiva at such an exciting time in the company’s maturation. ABI-2280 has tremendous potential to play a significant role in advancing both global health and women’s health, bringing about a long-needed breakthrough in HPV infections and HPV-related cancers in both men and women,” stated Ms. Ball. “I am eager to carry forward the significant momentum that has been generated by the Antiva team and look forward to the important upcoming clinical development milestones that will move us closer to this goal. I am also excited to be able to work closely with Gail in her new role as board chair, leaning on the experience and knowledge she has gained during her time as president and CEO.”
“I take great pride in turning the CEO role over to Kristine with the company in such a strong position following this transformative financing. She is a talented and experienced life science executive who is perfectly suited to lead Antiva as it expands clinical development of ABI-2280,” said Ms. Maderis. “I look forward to remaining intimately connected to the company in the role of board chair and offer a special thanks to Steve James, who has provided Antiva with great leadership and guidance as board chair and will remain an executive advisor to the company.”
About HPV-Related Diseases and Cervical Cancer
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women are infected with the virus at some point in their lives. Many of these are transient infections the body is capable of clearing, but this typically takes months to years. When the infections persist, they are known to drive the formation of malignancies, including cervical, anal, vulvar, penile, and head and neck cancers.
The introduction of prophylactic vaccines for HPV was a major step forward in the fight against HPV-associated cancers by preventing infection by certain high-risk HPV subtypes. However, due to low adoption rates in the US, EU, and Japan, and limited access to the vaccines in developing countries, HPV infections and the disease states driven by such infections remain a major unmet clinical need.
Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and as such represents a major public health problem. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 604,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and approximately 342,000 women died from the disease in 2020.
About Antiva Biosciences
Antiva Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, topical therapeutics for the treatment of diseases caused by HPV infection. The company, based in South San Francisco, was founded in 2012 by Dr. Karl Hostetler of The University of California San Diego. The company’s lead drug candidate, ABI-2280 is being developed as a topical treatment for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL, CIN 2,3) and for women with high-risk HPV infection.
For more information, please visit: www.antivabio.com.
Antiva Biosciences, Inc.
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