[THE INVESTOR] Alpha Holdings said in a regulatory filing on Sept. 3 that is seeking to enter the immune-oncology market by investing in NASDAQ-listed US firm OncoSec Medical.
“Alpha Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire OncoSec’s new shares worth US$15 million,” the Korean firm said.
By purchasing a 16 percent stake in OncoSec Medical, Alpha Holdings will become the largest shareholder of the California-based firm, which is developing cancer immunotherapies -- treatments that help the immune system fight tumors.
The investment is a part of Alpha Holdings’ plan to expand its business into the biotechnology sector, following its acquisition of another US firm Viral Gene, which develops cancer vaccines in 2016.
The Korean company has been focusing on the development of semiconductor solutions as a partner of Samsung Electronics before jumping on the health care bandwagon.
OncoSec is a biotechnology company developing DNA-based intratumoral immunotherapies with an investigational technology ImmunoPulse for the treatment of cancer. ImmunoPulse is designed to enhance the local delivery and uptake of DNA-based immune-targeting agents, such as plasmid encoded interleukin-12 (IL-12).
“We will strengthen our biotech business with the IL-12 pipeline by closely cooperating with OncoSec Medical. We expect that Alpha Holdings will transform into a true immunotherapy developer through this investment,” a company official said.
OncoSec’s lead program ImmunoPulse IL-12 is currently in clinical development for metastatic melanoma and triple-negative breast cancer.
The firm entered into a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck in May to evaluate the combination of OncoSec’s ImmunoPulse IL-12 with the latter’s anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda in phase 2 clinical trials.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)