Aduro BioTech, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, today announced the closing of a $55 million Series C financing. New investor Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) joined the Morningside group and other new and existing investors in the transaction.  View reports on Aduro Biotech

Aduro plans to use the new capital to advance its lead program in metastatic pancreatic cancer through its ongoing Phase 2b ECLIPSE clinical trial, to continue clinical development in mesothelioma and high-grade glioma, to expand into additional indications and to advance its small molecule program targeting the immunomodulatory STING receptor. The equity financing follows the company’s recent agreement facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation center in California, which granted Janssen Biotech, Inc. an exclusive, worldwide license to certain product candidates specifically engineered for the treatment of prostate cancer based on Aduro’s novel LADD immunotherapy platform. Since inception, Aduro has raised a total of $84 million from equity financings.

“The financing will allow us to build on the momentum from the recent positive clinical data presented at ASCO in metastatic pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma and to expand our clinical development efforts into additional cancer types and combination therapies,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aduro. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide cancer patients with more effective, less toxic therapeutic alternatives through novel immunotherapies.” 

“As we advance toward that goal,” added Mr. Isaacs, “we are pleased to have the continued support and confidence from Morningside and JJDC and we welcome all of our new investors.” 

"Aduro's immunotherapy platforms have the potential to transform the treatment of cancer," said Gerald Chan, founder of Morningside. "Combining the complementary mechanisms of action of the checkpoint inhibitors with Aduro's product candidates, which are designed to activate immunity, may make an enormous difference in the lives of cancer patients." 

Earlier this year, at the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium conference, the company presented data from a Phase 2a trial in metastatic pancreatic cancer patients who failed prior therapy. The randomized, controlled, multi-center study, which enrolled 93 patients, demonstrated a statistically significant survival benefit in patients receiving the combination of GVAX Pancreas and CRS-207 cancer vaccines (Arm A) compared to GVAX Pancreas vaccine alone (Arm B). The median overall survival of the patients receiving the combination was 6.1 months compared to 3.9 months for those receiving GVAX monotherapy (HR=0.59, one-sided p=0.0172). Based on these results, the company is conducting a randomized 240 patient Phase 2b clinical trial (ECLIPSE) in metastatic pancreatic cancer patients who have progressed after at least one line of therapy. More recently, at this month’s ASCO meeting, the company presented data from a Phase 1b clinical trial of its novel immunotherapy CRS-207 in combination with standard chemotherapy in treatment-naïve patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. Of 16 evaluable patients, 69% (11/16) had confirmed partial responses (PR) and 25% (4/16) had stable disease (SD) after CRS-207 and chemotherapy, resulting in an overall disease control rate of over 94%.