iTeos Therapeutics, a spin-off of the Duve Institute and the Ludwig Institute specializing in cancer immunotherapy, is now listed on the Wall Street stock exchange. This should enable it to raise an additional 200 million dollars which will fund the development of its immuno-oncology programs, resulting in part from research initiated at the de Duve Institute. The goal is to develop new anti-cancer drugs based on immunotherapy, and thus to put into practice the motto of Christian de Duve when he created the Institute: "Deeper knowledge for better cures".
This IPO is an important recognition for the Walloon biotech installed in the Gosselies biopark, but which now also has an American site in Cambridge, in the suburbs of Boston, near the headquarters of MIT and Harvard University.
Founded in 2011 by Michel Detheux, CEO, and Benoit Van den Eynde, director of the Ludwig Cancer Research Brussels and, since 2019, of the de Duve Institute, iTeos Therapeutics has been developing small immunomodulatory molecules for the treatment of cancer. The field of cancer immunotherapy has grown considerably in recent years with the arrival on the market of a number of drugs and vaccines that harness the immune response to treat cancer more safely, effectively and sustainably. The therapeutic applications of these treatments are however limited because the tumors develop mechanisms that allow them to escape the immune system. The mission of iTeos is precisely to develop immunomodulatory drugs to overcome immunosuppression.
In 2018, iTeos had already managed to raise 64 million dollars from the American investment fund MPM Capital, then 125 million in 2020 from five other American funds, making it one of the most successful university spin-offs in Europe in terms of fundraising.
The new resources obtained by iTeos should enable it to complete its two major clinical development programs. The first concerns a candidate treatment for patients with solid tumors. The clinical study, partly carried out in Belgium, aims to test the effectiveness of the treatment taken alone or in combination with Keytruda, a flagship immunotherapy product from the American pharmaceutical giant Merck, with which iTeos has entered into a collaboration agreement last year.
The second clinical program of the Belgian biotech aims to treat not only solid cancers, but also malignant blood tumors using an antibody that targets a specific antigen in order to block the action of TIGIT receptors, which slow down the immune response. This immunotherapy technology is considered to be very promising.
Meet Michel Detheux and David Wicks, vice-president of Nasdaq Option Market Index, "ringing the opening bell" on August 19 (the interview starts at 24 min 30 sec):
To find out more about iTeos Therapeutics : https://www.iteostherapeutics.com