Press Release

AbilityPharma receives a 1.6 million euro grant from the FDA and opens a crowdfunding campaign in Capital Cell

October 22, 2020

  • The European Union, through the Horizon 2020 program and the EIB, granted 5 million euros in March
  • The Biotech will complete the collection of 9.2 million this year to fund its research against pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer is considered an “orphan disease” with urgent clinical need: it is expected to be the second leading cause of cancer death in Europe by 2020

Barcelona, October 22, 2020.- The Catalan biopharmaceutical company AbilityPharma, focused on the development of innovative oral anticancer compounds, undertakes
the last stage of the investment round with which this year it will raise a total of 9.2 million euros for funding his research for a pancreatic cancer treatment based on the development of a new antitumor compound.

Last March, the company obtained 5 million euros from the Horizon 2020 Pilot Program, European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator; (Of this figure, 2.8 million will be a direct investment in the company's capital, managed through an EIB fund). In parallel, the US FDA just awarded a 1.6 million euros ($ 1.9 million) grant to AbilityPharma for the clinical development of this molecule.

Finally, and to complete the development of the clinical study, AbilityPharma starts a campaign to raise 1.6 million euros with a crowdfunding campaign at Capital Cell.
During 2018 and 2019, AbilityPharma attracted 4.4 million euros from investors such as Inveready, Fitalent (Everis Group), private investors through Capital Cell, the founding partners and public funds of the CDTI. In total, since its founding in 2009, AbilityPharma has achieved a total of 13.8 million in financing, of which 6.5 are in capital, 2.7 as public aid and 4.6 in credits, in addition to payments for milestones of technology partners.

With these investments, AbilityPharma accelerates the process to advance the validation of its new investigational molecule. The company, based in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona), has developed an innovative molecule, ABTL0812, capable of transforming the paradigm of first-line treatment of pancreatic cancer. This new molecule causes selective autophagy of cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. ABTL0812 has been positively tested in phase 2 clinical trials, as first-line therapy in patients with endometrial cancer or squamous lung cancer, in Europe.

AbilityPharma's next goal is to conduct an international multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer to investigate ABTL0812 in combination with FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy. The study will include reference centers in Spain, France, other European countries, Israel and the United States.

"Obtaining the $ 1.9 million grant from the FDA is an important milestone for AbilityPharma and recognition of our efforts to initiate the development of ABTL0812 in the United States during 2021," stated Carles Domènech, Executive Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) from AbilityPharma. Carles added, "With the start of the crowdfunding campaign of 1.6 million euros in Capital Cell, we want to give the opportunity to small investors to be part of our business project, where the investment risk is lower, with returns up to 12 times through an IPO or a license to a multinational pharmaceutical company during 2023 ".

Upon completion of the clinical trial in 2022, AbilityPharma's goal is to establish a license agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company to further develop ABTL0812, with the aim of making it available to pancreatic cancer patients by 2024 and further developing it for others types of cancer.

An orphan disease

Pancreatic cancer is considered an "orphan disease" with an urgent clinical need for new, safe and effective therapies. Until now, chemotherapy has been the main treatment for all stages of pancreatic cancer. With ABTL0812, however, the effects of various types of chemotherapy are enhanced without increasing their toxicity.
Pancreatic cancer mostly affects people between 65 and 70 years of age and is a difficult to diagnose tumor with high mortality. In other words, pancreatic cancer is not the most common, but it is the one with the lowest survival rate among the main types of cancer: lung, colorectal, breast and prostate.

In recent years, its incidence has increased and, in Spain alone, it is estimated that in 2030 there will be some 9,000 new cases per year, representing an increase of 40%. In 2020, it is expected to be the second leading cause of cancer death in Europe, where an annual mortality of 128,000 people from this type of cancer is estimated. Globally, pancreatic cancer is already the seventh leading cause of cancer-related death.

About AbilityPharma​

AbilityPharma is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2009, based in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona), and focused on the development of innovative oral anticancer compounds, which produce selective autophagy-mediated cytotoxicity in cancer cells. ABTL0812 is the most advanced active ingredient and has already been tested positively in phase 2 clinical trials, as a first-line therapy in patients with endometrial cancer or squamous lung cancer, in Europe. Current shareholders include the venture capital funds Inveready, Fitalent (Grupo Everis) and SODENA, the CDTI, its founders and private investors, and has the financial support of ACCIO (Generalitat de Catalunya), the European Commission (EIC Accelerator) and CDTI, ENISA and MINECO (Government of Spain).

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