US pet cancer therapy specialist ELIAS Animal Health has secured funding to take its current clinical trials through to completion.
The firm’s chief executive Tammie Wahaus said ELIAS closed $800,000 in funding from angel investors in April. However, the company is already on the lookout for its next injection of funds.
“We’re now looking for a commercialization funding round,” she told Animal Pharm. “We’d like that to be in the first half of 2018.”
The Olathe, Kansas-headquartered company is expecting results from an osteosarcoma pivotal trial in the fall. In the longer-term, ELIAS has completed enrolment in a b-cell lymphoma trial with data set to be published a year from now.
The firm owns the worldwide rights to TVAX Immunotherapy for use in companion animals, a treatment which it will market as ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy. The technology has a two-stage process involving the vaccine and subsequent T cell treatment. ELIAS aims to develop this technology for a range of cancers such as lymphoma, osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. Additionally, the company intends to start a study into canine transitional cell carcinoma bladder cancer this year.
Ms Wahaus said she does not expect the company’s technology to be a silver bullet for pet cancer: “It’s a complicated disease. We hope our products will be beneficial in multiple cancer types, and combination therapies will definitely be a benefit in some situations. It will be a case of figuring out which ones work well together, what will be the safest and most effective combination and which ones cause the least damage to the immune system.
“Chemotherapy does still have a role to play but it remains very toxic. It can be used in combination; it just depends on the type of cancer being treated.”
While there are several companies vying with ELIAS to break into the companion animal cancer treatment space, Ms. Wahaus believes her business is further along the development pathway than other firms.