Onxeo has a proprietary platON platform based on a unique decoy technology in the field of DNA damage repair inhibition. The compounds have been shown in preclinical studies to be synergistic with DNA breaking therapies and also have an ability to reverse tumour resistance to PARP inhibitors and TKIs.
Onxeo’s portfolio focuses on its novel platON platform with AsiDNA as the lead drug candidate. AsiDNA is the only oligonucleotide decoy agonist in development that disrupts and exhausts the tumour DNA damage response mechanism. To date, the only approved similar class of drugs are four commercially successful PARP inhibitors. AsiDNA is now being tested in the Phase Ib part of the DRIIV-1 trial in patients with advanced solid tumours in combination with chemotherapy (the latest interim update in November showed promising data). Another key Phase Ib/II trial, REVOCAN, is recruiting patients and will evaluate AsiDNA’s potentially unique ability to reverse tumour resistance to the PARP inhibitor, niraparib. The outcomes of all these events will define AsiDNA’s mid- to late-stage development. In January, Onxeo secured a €5m state guaranteed loan extending its cash runway to Q322. In April, Onxeo raised further €9.7m and revealed a new Phase II trial with AsiDNA in combination with chemotherapy in NSCLC to start in 2021.
Approval of the first PARP inhibitors has kick-started interest by the scientific community and large pharma in the DNA damage response field. Few biotechs are already positioned in this emerging field that has broad potential.