FluoGuide A/S and LI-COR Biosciences sign agreement to develop uPAR targeted products to guide oncology surgery using LI-COR’s proprietary next-generation fluorophore IRDye 800CW
August 13, 2020
Copenhagen, Denmark, 13 August 2020 – FluoGuide A/S (“FluoGuide” or “the Company”) has signed a non-exclusive supply and licensing agreement with the US company LI-COR Biosciences. The agreement will help FluoGuide broaden its portfolio of uPAR-targeted products with features unique to IRDye 800CW, such as deep tissue targeting. With this latest agreement, FluoGuide is well-positioned to maximize the clinical and commercial potential of uPAR-targeted products in fluorescent-guided surgery for cancer.
FluoGuide’s strategic development plan centers on advancing its lead product, FG001, for targeted glioblastoma surgery, and on building a set of complementary products for additional oncology indications. In conjunction with FluoGuide’s patented uPAR-targeting molecules, this agreement provides the Company additional tools needed to expand its pipeline. Adding 1-2 new products with complementary features and benefits to FG001 will enable FluoGuide to fully realize the potential of its uPAR technology to maximize outcomes in surgical oncology.
FluoGuide’s products are made of two components, the uPAR binding molecule which targets cancerous cells, and a fluorophore that lights up those cells. LI-COR’s IRDye® 800CW infrared dye is a novel fluorophore that has been tested in clinical trials and that, due to its brightness, enables deep visibility into specific tissues. For example, a product using IRDye 800CW is expected to be optimal for guiding the surgical treatment of colorectal cancer. While the details of the agreement have not been disclosed, they will not impact FluoGuide’s 2020-2021 budget nor the research activities related to uPAR-targeted products containing IRDye 800CW. Under the terms of the agreement, which extend beyond 2035, FluoGuide will cover all development costs and retain all rights to its products, including FG002.
“We see a clear alignment with Fluoguide’s technology and our expertise in near-infrared dyes,” said Greg Biggs, president, and CEO of LI-COR. “This relationship will help further our mutual goals of advancing image-guided surgery to benefit cancer patients.”
FG002 is now studied preclinically and FluoGuide will use these results together with the result of the human clinical study of FG001 in patients with glioblastoma undergoing surgery to select 1-2 uPAR-targeted products in addition to FG001 for formal development as well as for deciding the target indications for those products, includig breast, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. This decision is expected to take place through the first half of 2021.
“In parallel with the accelerated clinical development of FG001 in glioblastoma, we will optimize our portfolio with products to fully leveraging our uPAR technology,” said Morten Albrechtsen, CEO of FluoGuide. “The addition of IRDye 800CW to our toolkit and the definition of FG002 is important for FluoGuide to help more patients with cancer undergoing surgery.”
FluoGuide A/S is obliged to publish this information in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was provided by the contact person above for publication on 13 August 2020.
FluoGuide’s primary focus is to maximize surgical outcomes in oncology. The Company’s first product, FG001, is designed to improve surgical precision by illuminating cancer cells intraoperatively. The improved precision enabled by FluoGuide’s products has a dual benefit – it reduces both the frequency of local recurrence post-surgery and lessens surgical sequelae. Ultimately, these improvements will improve a patient’s chance of achieving a complete cure and will lower system-wide healthcare costs. The Company is planning a proof-of-concept clinical study (phase I/IIa) to demonstrate the effect of FG001 in patients with glioblastoma.
About LI-COR Biosciences
LI-COR Biosciences is an innovator in probe design solutions that has, over the past decade, developed and commercialized numerous IRDye® infrared dyes as imaging agents for molecular imaging applications. The company has more than 49 years of experience in instrumentation, software, and consumable product innovation for environmental and biotechnology applications. Molecular probes and targeting agents conjugated to IRDye® infrared dyes are being used in more than 20 Phase I and Phase II clinical trials worldwide.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 954904.