Rare Daily Staff
Ayala Pharmaceuticals, which is developing medicines for genetically-defined cancers, said it raised $30 million in a series B financing.
Novartis led the round with participation from SBI JI Innovation Fund and all existing investors, including Israel Biotech Fund, aMoon and Harel Insurance & Finance Group.
The new capital will be used to advance the clinical development of Ayala’s lead product candidate AL101, which is currently being evaluated for adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). The company also intends to advance the phase 2 study in ACC and initiate a phase 2 clinical trial in triple negative breast cancer.
ACC is a rare form of cancer that most often develops within the major and minor salivary glands of the head and neck. In the United States, there are less than 15,000 people living with the condition today and a little more than 1,200 people diagnosed each year. Current treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but there is no approved drug for the treatment of ACC.
AL101 is a gamma secretase inhibitor developed as a Notch inhibitor for oncology indications. Notch signaling pathway plays an important role in tumorigenesis in several solid and hematological malignancies.
“The strategic investment by Novartis coupled with the continued support from our investors in this round underscores the potential for both AL101 and AL102, pan-Notch inhibitors being investigated in patient populations with high unmet needs,” said Roni Mamluk, CEO at Ayala Pharmaceuticals.
Ayala Pharmaceuticals is broadly developing its product candidates, AL101 and AL102, best-in-class gamma secretase inhibitors, with studies underway in solid tumors (AL101) and in hematologic malignancies (AL102) and in collaboration with Novartis in multiple myeloma.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Orphan Products Development recently granted Orphan Drug Designation to AL101 for the potential treatment of ACC.
Photo: Roni Mamluk, CEO at Ayala Pharmaceuticals