Feb 18, 2016 – Unleash Immuno Oncolytics Enters License Agreement with Leloir Institute to Develop Immuno-Oncology Products for Cancer Treatment, Gets Established in Saint Louis

Buenos Aires, Argentina – February 18, 2016 – Unleash Immuno Oncolytics, an immune-oncology company developing oncolytic virus immunotherapy products to treat cancer, today announced that the company has entered a license agreement with INIS Biotech, the tech transfer arm of Fundación Instituto Leloir, and has established operations in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.

“Immuno-oncology is a very promising field and we are excited to enter this space that could potentially bring truly breakthrough therapies for cancer treatment. Unleash is privileged to license this technology from the Leloir Institute, to leverage this outstanding science to develop innovative immune-oncology therapies” said Unleash’s CEO, Daniel Katzman.

The research work of Dr. Osvaldo Podhajcer´s group led to the development of Unleash’s leading product – UIO-512, an oncolytic virus designed to target both malignant cells and tumor-associated stroma cells. “The stroma, composed by non-malignant cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial and immune cells, provides nutrients, structure and helps the malignant cells to grow and disseminate.  Cancer-associated stroma cells may account for up to 90% of the tumor mass and are not being specifically and are not targeted by any other current therapies. Thus, targeting the stroma cells is a significant paradigm shift over existing cancer treatments” explained Dr. Podhjacer – Chief, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Therapy (Fundación Instituto Leloir, Buenos Aires), Superior Researcher (CONICET) ), Director of the Argentinian Consortium of Genomic Technology.

“UIO-512’s viral replication is triggered by a triple hybrid promoter that combines the stroma-associated SPARC gene promoter and motifs responsive to tumor microenvironment conditions such as inflammation and hypoxia. Unleash’s patented technology is unique in that it attacks the entire tumor mass, not only the malignant cells themselves but also the stromal cells that support cancer dissemination” said Dr. David T. Curiel – Unleash’s Scientific Advisory Board Chairman and Director of the Biologic Therapeutics Center, Washington University School of Medicine.

Unleash was formed by Axia Ventures Company Builder. ¨We are proud to have created an exciting biotechnology start-up company born with the vision of a global world-class scale¨, said Lisandro Bril, Managing Partner of Axia Ventures.

Unleash will establish its operations in Saint Louis. ¨Saint Louis’ growing biotechnology ecosystem is happy to welcome Unleash. We are excited to be the lead investor in Unleash’s seed round of financing”, said Charles Bolten, Vice President of BioGenerator, a biotechnology fund and incubator based in Saint Louis, Missouri.

About Unleash Immuno Oncolytics

Unleash Immuno Oncolytics is an immuno-oncology company focused on developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer. Unleash’s leading product, UIO- 512, is an oncolytic virus that targets both malignant cells and tumor-associated stroma cells, thereby triggering an enhanced immune response. UIO-512’s replication is driven by a specific fragment of the SPARC gene promoter (patented technology), which embodies elements responsive to the tumor microenvironment. SPARC is expressed in various solid tumor malignant cells, as well as in the stroma-associated cells. Unleash’s lead program is a differentiated immune-oncology treatment has already shown promising proof of concept results in animal models and human explants of ovarian cancer and melanoma. Unleash is currently planning first-in-human phase I/IIa clinical trials of oncolytic immunotherapy UIO-512 for our two leading indications: ovary cancer and melanoma.  For more information, please visit www.unleash.bio


About INIS (Tech Transfer Arm of Fundacin Instituto Leloir)

Inis Biotech is the technology transfer arm of Fundación Instituto Leloir. Inis Biotech promotes the creation of innovative biotechnology companies, intellectual property protection, and licensing from inventions and knowledge generated at Fundación Instituto Leloir. Inis Biotech is the catalyst that ensures that the developments and inventions of Fundación Instituto Leloir reach the market in alliance with the private and public sectors. For more information, please visit www.inis-biotech.com.ar


About AxiaVentures – Company Builder –Life Sciences

AxiaVentures Company Builder- Biotech Division is focused on the creation of Biotech start-ups. We identify innovative scientific technology discovered in prestigious Latinamerican research centers, with promising commercial potential, and create start-up biotech companies. Additionally, by facilitating access to capital funding, we spread Latinamerican science to the world.  For more information, please visit www.axiaventures.com


About BioGenerator

BioGenerator produces a sustained pipeline of successful bioscience companies and entrepreneurs in St. Louis by creating, growing and investing in promising new enterprises. BioGenerator is a nonprofit subsidiary of BioSTL, which advances St. Louis’ prosperity by cultivating a thriving bioscience sector, building regional capacity to capitalize on St. Louis’ world class medical and plant biosciences. For more information, please visit www.BioGenerator.org