Portfolio includes VIP152, a highly selective PTEFb/CDK9 inhibitor with encouraging Phase 1 monotherapy activity, including complete responses in DH-DLBCL

Vincera intends to pursue multiple accelerated approval opportunities in MYC- and MCL1-driven cancers

Preclinical bioconjugation platform designed to overcome limitations of small-molecule and antibody-drug conjugates use to treat cancer

SANTA CLARA, CA, USA I October 08, 2020 I Vincera Pharma, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company aspiring to address the unmet medical needs of patients with cancer through paradigm-shifting therapeutics, today announced the signing of an exclusive license agreement with Bayer AG for the development and commercialization of an early development oncology portfolio. The license will become effective upon the closing of the transaction with LSAC (described below), and Vincera intends to use the funds it will receive upon closing of such transaction to initiate its clinical program.

Under the terms of the license agreement, Vincera will in-license VIP152 (formerly BAY 1251152), a clinical-stage, highly selective, positive transcription elongation factor b (PTEFb)/cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitor for the treatment of cancer. Additionally, Vincera will receive assets and license technology for a preclinical bioconjugation platform to address the limitations of small-molecule and antibody-drug conjugates in oncology. The preclinical assets include: VIP236, a small molecule drug conjugate (SMDC) targeting advanced and metastatic cancer; as well as VIP943 (formerly BAY-943) and VIP924 (formerly BAY-924), two antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) targeting hematologic tumors; and VIP217, an oral PTEFb/CDK9 inhibitor in discovery.

“This license agreement with Bayer creates the foundation of Vincera’s targeted clinical oncology pipeline, with a potentially best-in-class asset, while positioning us for long-term growth across two therapeutic platforms,” said Ahmed Hamdy M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vincera. “Our lead asset, VIP152, is a small molecule PTEFb/CDK9 inhibitor with very encouraging data from monotherapy Phase 1 studies, including 2 of 7 patients with durable remissions of over 2 years in the very aggressive indication of relapsed/refractory double-hit DLBCL. In addition, preclinical data support our belief that VIP152 is the most selective CDK9 inhibitor in the clinic with on-target depletion of oncogenic MYC and MCL1 mRNA transcripts in patients. These results, combined with the acceptable safety profile seen to date, suggest that VIP152 could be an important new treatment option for patients with MYC- and MCL1-driven malignancies. Importantly, with proof-of-concept clinical data in hand, we are poised to execute on a strategic clinical development plan with the potential for multiple accelerated approvals in the U.S. Expansion of the current Phase 1b study to include these patient populations is expected to begin in 2021.”

“CDK9 represents a validated target for malignancies such as CLL where other less selective CDK inhibitors have shown clinical activity in high-risk patients,” says Dr. John C. Byrd, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Vincera. “VIP-152 represents an exciting new therapy for this disease, particularly those with prior resistance to ibrutinib and venetoclax where a true unmet need exists for new treatments.”

Dr. Hamdy continued, “In addition to our planned clinical program, we intend to advance, in parallel, the development of our preclinical bioconjugation platform. We believe our next-generation platform has the potential to generate first-in-class and best-in-class opportunities in oncology, improving the specificity of drug targeting and release through a modular platform with innovative warhead design and linker-payload technologies. We are thrilled that the Bayer license will allow us to pursue the commercial potential of this promising oncology portfolio and look forward to providing updates as we execute across our pipeline in the coming quarters.”

In exchange for this license, Vincera will pay Bayer an upfront license fee and development and commercial sales milestone payments. In further consideration of the rights granted, we will also pay an annual royalty on commercial sale of licensed products in the single- to low-double digit percentage range on net commercial sales of licensed products.

On September 29, 2020, Vincera announced that it has entered into a merger agreement with LifeSci Acquisition Corp. (“LSAC”), a publicly traded blank check company targeting the biopharma, medical technology, digital health and healthcare services sectors. Following completion of the merger, the combined company is expected to have approximately $60 million in cash to fund its preclinical and clinical pipeline. Additional information about the merger and related transactions, including a copy of the merger agreement, are included in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by LSAC with the SEC on September 29, 2020 and available at www.sec.gov.

About Vincera Pharma, Inc.

Vincera is a recently formed clinical-stage life sciences company focused on leveraging its extensive development and oncology expertise to advance new therapies intended to address unmet medical needs for the treatment of cancer. Vincera’s executive team has assembled a management team of biopharmaceutical experts with extensive experience in building and operating organizations that develop and deliver innovative medicines to patients. Vincera’s current pipeline is derived from an exclusive license agreement with Bayer and includes (i) a clinical-stage and follow-on small molecule drug program and (ii) a preclinical stage bioconjugation/next-generation antibody-drug conjugate platform. The company intends to develop multiple products through clinical proof-of-concept and potentially through Accelerated Approval in the United States. For more information, please visit www.vincerapharma.com.

SOURCE: Vincera Pharma