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Biotech companies to dominate at Proactive One2One Virtual Investor Forum on June 23

TRACON Pharmaceuticals, Helix BioPharma, Tetra Bio-Pharma and MediPharm Labs are among the standouts presenting at the investor-focused event

TRACON Pharmaceuticals - Biotech companies to dominate at Proactive One2One Investor Forum in June

The Proactive One2One Virtual Investor Forum this month will bring together some of the most dynamic companies in the US and Canada to make their cases directly to investors while showcasing the latest biotech and medical cannabis technology innovations.

TRACON Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:TCON), Helix BioPharma Corp (TSE:HBP) (OTCMKTS:HBPCF), Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc (CVE:TBD) (OTCQB:TBPMF) and MediPharm Labs (TSE:LABS) (OTCQX:MEDIF) will headline the virtual conference.

Delegates will also be given the opportunity to put their questions to the presenters after they have delivered their live webcast presentations. The Q&A will be moderated by Proactive broadcast journalist Christine Corrado.

Investors can log onto the Proactive One2One Virtual Investor Forum on June 23 at 1 pm ET.

Dr Charles Theuer, CEO of TRACON will deliver the kick-off webinar presentation during which he will sketch out the company’s clinical-stage pipeline.

The company, based in San Diego, California is developing target therapies for cancer, including envafolimab, a treatment being developed for a rare kind of cancer called sarcoma. Sarcoma tumors grow in bones and connective tissues, that is tendons, cartilage, fat and muscles.

Other drug candidates in its pipeline include TRC253, a small molecule drug candidate for the treatment of prostate cancer; TRC102, another small molecule drug being developed for the treatment of lung cancer; and TJ004309, a CD73 antibody for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.

READ: TRACON Pharmaceuticals believes its ENVASARC trial on envafolimab will enable a quick path to market

It has been a busy spell for TRACON, which recently met with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the potential pivotal trial design for envafolimab and apply for orphan drug status.

“We are excited to participate in the Proactive Investor event as we have many upcoming near-term milestones for our subcutaneous checkpoint inhibitor envafolimab and believe everyone should hear about our pivotal ENVASARC trial in sarcoma following our successful meeting with the FDA," Dr Theuer, a specialist in surgical oncology told Proactive.   

Dr Theur was former director of clinical oncology at Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), and led the clinical development of kidney cancer therapy Sutent, which was approved by the FDA.

“The main theme of my presentation will be our lead program envafolimab, a subcutaneous checkpoint inhibitor which is going into a pivotal study later this year with an interim readout in 2021, final data in 2022, and assuming positive data, potentially commercializing in 2023,” he noted.

Driving the immuno-oncology revolution

Another compelling story is that of Helix BioPharma Corp, a Toronto-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm focused on developing cancer drugs through immuno-oncology.

For the uninitiated, immuno-oncology is among the big themes of cancer treatment in recent years. It is based around the idea that the human immune system is constantly searching for and getting rid of foreign particles from the body. But sometimes rogue cells slip past the body's defense system to become cancers. The idea behind the therapy is to provide the immune system with the tools to both unmask tumors and strengthen the body's ability to attack harmful cells.

Helix BioPharma is developing an immune-oncology drug platform (DOS47) for the treatment of cancer that is designed to modify the tumor microenvironment. DOS47 is based on an enzyme isolated from the jack bean plant called urease that breaks down urea in the body into metabolites that include ammonium and hydroxyl ions. By doing so at the site of cancerous tissues in the body, the company believes DOS47 can modify the microenvironmental conditions of cancerous cells in a manner that leads to apoptosis or programmed cell death.

The company's lead drug, L-DOS47, is in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Helix BioPharma's CEO Heman Chao said: “We have been working with Proactive for a while and it has been a good channel for us to communicate with investors. We hope to use the conference as a direct venue for us to share our latest clinical program development.”

“I will provide an introduction to Helix and pancreatic cancer treatment through tumor microenvironment modulation,” he added.

Lead asset is a coronavirus play

As the opioid crisis hits millions in North America, there is a growing need for an alternative to opioids such as cannabis-based drugs that will replace the toxic, addictive side effects of opioids. Tetra Bio-Pharma, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company, is one such company which is laser-focused on developing cannabinoid-based chronic cancer pain meds.  

The company expects to resume its ReBorn clinical trial to bring lead drug CAUMZ to the market as an alternative to opioids. ReBorn is a head-to-head comparative study assessing CAUMZ as an alternative to morphine sulfate (short‐acting opioids) for managing intolerable episodes of pain in cancer patients. Tetra is planning to initiate ReBorn in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Significantly, the company has now also completed modifications to its nonclinical safety program for its potential intravenous drug candidate PPP003 to ensure the launch of a Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers later this year. The company plans to subsequently initiate a Phase 2 trial of its lead drug candidate PPP003 for its anti-inflammatory properties to avoid the so-called “cytokine storm” associated with acute lung injury in moderate to severe hospitalized coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

“Tetra has signed up for the virtual conference as we want to tell our story to US and Canadian investors – thereby increasing awareness in North America of the Tetra story,” Tetra Bio-Pharma CEO Guy Chamberland told Proactive.

“The main theme of our presentation will be the Tetra business and pipeline which has been positively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as its main asset or leading asset is now a COVID-19 play.”

Stable cannabis supply for medical markets

MediPharm Labs, which specializes in the production of purified, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil, concentrates and advanced derivative products will round out the presentations at the virtual conference.

“With our first Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification in hand, we are well-positioned to supply international medical markets that offer additional growth and diversification for our revenue streams as the Canadian market continues to evolve,” MediPharm Labs CEO Pat McCutcheon said in a statement.

“Our international efforts are expected to be further strengthened by efforts to broaden our GMP certifications to include Europe and the start-up of our Australian facility."

The Ontario-based company’s manufacturing facility was exempt from the recent provincial mandated workplace closures as an essential service during the coronavirus lockdown.

MediPharm Labs has invested in purification methodologies and purpose-built facilities with five primary extraction lines having 300,000 kilograms of annual processing capacity to deliver pure, safe and precisely dosed cannabis products for its customers.

Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive    

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TRACON Pharmaceuticals approved by the FDA to begin sarcoma cancer therapy...

TRACON Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:TCON) CEO Charles Theuer tells Proactive the FDA has given the go-ahead for its human trial of envafolimab for sarcoma cancer. Theuer says it expects to start enrolling patients in the trial at 25 sites in the US in the fourth quarter of 2020.

on 08/18/2020

6 min read