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OncoMyx Therapeutics, an Arizona State University spinout and privately-held oncolytic immunotherapy company founded on the myxoma virus (MYXV) platform, has finalized a licensing agreement with Skysong Innovations, ASU's technology transfer organization.
OncoMyx is developing oncolytic immunotherapies to treat cancer, based on the work of Grant McFadden, director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy and a professor in the School of Life Sciences at ASU. McFadden's team has designed an oncolytic virus to specifically kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.
“I’ve known people who have had cancer and have lost the battle. I’m a cancer survivor myself,” said McFadden, “and so it’s deeply personal to me that we owe it to the next generation to come up with new cures, new treatments — new ways to go after this disease. That’s our job and I think we should take it as our prime directive in life, as well.”
"Professor McFadden and his collaborators have developed a robust oncolytic virus technology, supported by preclinical and clinical research, that we believe could be a new pillar of cancer care," said Steve Potts, co-founder and CEO of OncoMyx. "Completing this licensing agreement is an important milestone for advancing this technology into new potentially life-saving treatments for cancer. It was great to work with the Skysong Innovations team on this licensing, because they understand not just the patent portfolio but what an inventor and entrepreneur needs to spin out a company and reach the next level."
In June 2019, OncoMyx completed a $25 million Series A financing, one of the year's largest venture investments in Arizona and the most money ever raised by an ASU spinout in its initial funding round. The company is using the proceeds to advance the development of its MYXV platform to the stage when it can begin human clinical trials.
"OncoMyx has the potential to become the best-in-class oncolytic virus approach for treating a wide range of cancers," said Augie Cheng, CEO of Skysong Innovations. "The company has tremendous IP, experienced leadership, and funding commensurate with the technology's promise. They are a true shining star in the Arizona biotech startup scene."
Overall, companies launched to develop ASU's intellectual property are boosting the state's economy. To date, ASU researchers and other entrepreneurs have started more than 140 new companies, which together have attracted almost a billion dollars in outside investments. An independent economic impact analysis completed last year found that, from 2016–19, Arizona's economy gained a cumulative $575 million in gross state product, $52 million in state and local tax revenues, and 5,842 job-years (equivalent to one person having a job for one full year) as a result of Skysong Innovations' venture development activities. The cumulative economic impact of these new companies is projected to reach $1.16 billion by the end of 2022.
Source: Skysong Innovations