Today KORTUC Inc. (KORTUC) announces the closing of an equity investment from SBI Investment Co., Ltd. Through this transaction, along with the already-announced investment closings from AXA Japan and Irimajiri Group Inc., the Company has raised 1.85 billion JPY for its series C round.
KORTUC is developing a novel cancer therapy which targets hypoxia in the tumor micro environment and thus overcomes the resistance of many tumors to radiation therapy*1. The Company will use the recent financing to accelerate its ongoing pivotal study*2 in the UK and to pursue additional pivotal studies in the US that will enable registration in these and other countries.
Comments from KORTUC
“We are pleased to obtain such strong support from our new investors, as we believe that our product will bring about a paradigm shift in cancer treatment, including in radiotherapy and immunotherapy. We will accelerate our clinical research in the UK and the US through these fund-raising activities to bring good news to cancer patients globally,” emphasized Kazu Matsuda, Chief Executive Officer of KORTUC.
KORTUC is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company formed to bring technology invented by Dr. Yasuhiro Ogawa, Emeritus Professor of Kochi University, to global practical use. KORTUC’s pivotal Phase II study focusing on locally advanced, recurrent breast cancer is ongoing in the UK in collaboration with the Royal Marsden Hospital and several other cancer centers across the UK. A phase I study was completed in 2019 successfully demonstrating the product’s safety and efficacy. The results were published in the Red Journal (the International Journal of Radiation, Biology, Physics of ASTRO) in June 2020. The Company is to start an additional pivotal study in 2022 in the US and aims to show in the near future that KORTUC can enhance the effectiveness of radiotherapy for any solid tumor. In addition, KORTUC Inc. believes that KORTUC therapy will greatly improve the efficacy of immuno-checkpoint inhibitors. Thus, the Company also aims to obtain approval of KORTUC as an activator of the antitumor immune response.
*1 Tumor micro environment (TME) is the environment of tumor tissues, including the surrounding blood vessels, immune cells, fibroblasts, signaling molecules and the extracellular matrix. Immune cells in the TME can sometimes destroy cancerous cells, but they sometimes are deactivated by cancer cells creating a TME that actually protects the cancer cells. Reactivating the antitumor immune response can reverse this deactivation.
*2 Pivotal study: a clinical trial to demonstrate and confirm the safety and efficacy of a treatment. Pivotal studies are required as evidence so that the drug can obtain marketing approval by regulatory authorities.