5:55 AM
Sep 21, 2017
 |  BC Innovations  |  Emerging Company Profile

Two leases on LIF

How Northern targets both tumor immunosuppression and self-renewal

While most immuno-oncology products in the clinic target the immunosuppressive factors that help tumors evade an attack, Northern Biologics Inc.'s anti-LIF antibody takes a step further. By simultaneously blocking both immunosuppression and self-renewal of cancer stem cells the newco expects the antibody to be effective against a wider range of cancers than other immuno-oncology programs.

Northern was launched in 2014 by Versant Ventures to develop cancer and fibrosis therapies, but for strategic reasons merged in December 2016 with another Versant start-up, cancer play Mosaic Biomedicals S.L.

Under a 2015 deal with Celgene Corp., the revamped Northern received $70 million to fund clinical development of its lead candidate, the humanized anti-LIF antibody MSC-1 that it inherited from Mosaic, and to support R&D on the three other antibodies in its pipeline. The deal also gives Celgene...

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