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Arix Bioscience sees multiple advancements across portfolio

Since September, the group's portfolio has steamed ahead with a number of new and successful clinical trials, as well as a boost from the float of one of its companies on the Nasdaq

In December, portfolio company Autolus, dosed the first patient in a Phase 1/2 trial of its AUTO4 therapy for peripheral T cell lymphoma

Healthcare and life science investment firm Arix Bioscience Plc (LON:ARIX) has seen a number of positive developments across its portfolio, ranging from successful clinical trials to stock market floats.

New trials at Autolus

In early December, one of Arix’s portfolio companies Autolus Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:AUTL), dosed the first patient in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its AUTO4 therapy for relapsed or refractory TRBC1-positive peripheral T cell lymphoma (PTCL).

PTCL is a form of cancer that arises in areas of the body such as lymph nodes, spleen, the gastrointestinal tract, and skin when T-cells, white blood cells that fight infection, become abnormal.

READ: Arix Bioscience’s portfolio firm Autolus doses first patient in clinical trial of AUTO4 T-cell lymphoma therapy

The first phase of the trial is expected to enrol around 25 patients and evaluate up to three dose levels of the AUTO4 therapy, beginning with a low dose of 25mln AUTO4 cells in cohorts of three to six patients.

If no toxicities are observed, the doses will then escalate to 75mln and 225mln until a recommended dose has been identified, after which up to 30 patients will be enrolled in Phase 2.

Two of AUTO4’s sister treatments, AUTO5 targeting TRBC2-positive lymphoma and AUTO3 targeting paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and diffuse large B cell lymphoma, had preclinical data and Phase 1/2 trial clinical data presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) on 2 December.

Trial success for Pharmaxis

Meanwhile, one of the firm’s Australia-based investments, Pharmaxis (ASX:PXS), saw success in November with a two-part Phase 1 clinical study of its LOXL2 inhibitor.

LOXL2 is designed to treat fibrotic diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

READ: Arix Biosciences hails phase I success of investee company Pharmaxis

The study revealed that the drug was safe and there were no adverse reactions, with its pharmacokinetic profile showing “the expected dose related-increases in exposure”.

Repeating the positive results seen in a similar trial for its first inhibitor compound, “excellent drug-like properties [were] demonstrated”, Pharmaxis said.

Arix is a cornerstone investor in the ASX life sciences group and led August’s £13.4mln financing round.

Positive results eyed by Aura

The round of positive results also extended to another Arix investee Aura Biosciences, in which it holds a 6.6% stake.

Aura is developing AU-011, an injection which made up of viral nanoparticles which latch onto and, once activated by an ophthalmic laser, kill cancer cells in the back of the eye.

READ: Arix Bioscience’s investee company Aura Biosciences announces positive data from mid-stage eye cancer trial

A Phase Ib/II clinical trial of AU-011 in October demonstrated that “light-activated AU-011 continues to be well-tolerated, including with multiple administrations, has evidence of tumour control and preservation of visual acuity”, according to the trial’s principal investigator Brian Marr.

Nasdaq float for LogicBio

In October, the group saw a significant uplift in its investment in clinical genome editing company LogicBio (NASDAQ:LOGC), which floated on the Nasdaq exchange in an initial public offering that valued the firm at over US$200mln and raised proceeds of US$80.5mln.

READ: Arix Biosciences boost after investee company floats on NASDAQ

For Arix, which holds a 12.9% stake in the firm, the float took the value of its holding to US$30mln, US$16mln more than it ploughed into the business.

With shares trading at around 176.5p, Arix carries a market cap of £231.2mln.

Quick facts: Arix Bioscience PLC

Price: 76.5 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £103.74 m

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