Preclinical studies support further development of AU-011 for choroidal metastasis

CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA I May 03, 2022 I Aura Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: AURA), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a novel class of virus-like drug conjugate (VDC) therapies for multiple oncology indications, today announced the presentation of preclinical data for its first VDC product candidate, AU‑011. AU-011 is in development for the treatment of multiple ocular oncology indications, including primary choroidal melanoma and choroidal metastasis. The results presented today highlight AU-011’s targeted cytotoxicity towards tumor cells derived from the most common cancer types known to metastasize to the choroid. The results were presented as part of the 2022 Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting taking place in Denver, CO on May 1 – 4 and virtually on May 11 – 12.

“The data presented at ARVO demonstrates AU-011’s potent cytotoxicity in human cancer cell lines as well as in multiple in vivo tumor models including breast, renal and colon cancer which are well known to metastasize to the choroid,” said Elisabet de los Pinos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aura. “These results support our commitment to build our ocular oncology franchise and provide a potential novel treatment for patients with cancers in the eye. We look forward to submitting the IND in choroidal metastases in the second half of this year.”

In vitro potency was observed across a panel of human cancer cell lines. Cells were treated with AU-011 followed by light activation, and dose-dependent cell binding and cytotoxicity were noted. Addition of heparin to the binding studies prevented AU-011 association with the tumor cells demonstrating AU-011’s specific targeting of tumor associated heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). Syngeneic murine models of breast, colon, and renal cancer were employed to evaluate AU-011’s anti-tumor activity in vivo and dose-dependent efficacy was observed across all models. The studies herein support further development of AU-011 for choroidal metastasis.

Details for the presentation are as follows:

Title: A first in class Virus-Like Drug Conjugate (VDC) shows anti-tumor activity in Cancers that Commonly Metastasize to the Choroid
Presentation Number: 2616
Presenter: Anneli Savinainen, Aura Biosciences
Session Title: Where art thou tumor? – Ocular tumor physiology and metastases
Date and time: Tuesday, May 3 at 3:00 – 3:17 PM ET
Location: 1AB Mile High Ballroom (Denver Convention Center)

The presentation can be accessed by visiting the “Scientific Presentations” section of “VDC Platform” page of the Aura Biosciences website.

About Aura Biosciences

Aura Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing virus-like drug conjugates (VDCs), a novel class of therapies, for the treatment of multiple oncology indications. Aura’s lead VDC candidate, AU-011 (belzupacap sarotalocan), consists of a virus-like particle conjugated with an anti-cancer agent. AU-011 selectively targets and destroys cancer cells and activates the immune system with the potential to create long-lasting anti-tumor immunity. AU-011 is currently in development for ocular cancers, with an ongoing Phase 2 dose escalation clinical trial evaluating first-line treatment of choroidal melanoma, a vision- and life-threatening form of eye cancer where standard of care with radiotherapy leaves patients with severe comorbidities, including major vision loss. Aura plans to develop AU-011 across its ocular oncology franchise including for the treatment of patients with choroidal metastases. In addition, leveraging Aura’s technology platform, Aura is developing AU-011 more broadly across multiple cancers, starting with a planned Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Aura is headquartered in Cambridge, MA.

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SOURCE: Aura Biosciences