There are hundreds of inhibitors in the market today targeting mutant protein kinases. However, a majority of them do not have the required specificity. This tends to limit the doses that can be administered in patients. Nonetheless, Unum Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:UMRX) is committed to turning around this situation by creating advanced novel precision kinase inhibitors, which can treat a wide variety of hereditarily driven diseases.
Following this drive, the company has entered into a sale agreement with SOTIO. Unum will transfer its cell-based BOXR programs to the clinical-stage immuno-oncology company under the ownership of PPF Group. The deal will result in a payment of $11.5m in total from SOTIO for the BOXR technology with a US$8.1m upfront and the US$3.4m in milestones. SOTIO will also be required to build on Unum’s R&D data.
Unum has Been Exploring a Range of Strategic Opportunities
Upon making the upfront payment, SOTIO will take the responsibility of developing Unum’s lead candidate, BOXR1030. According to the CEO of Unum, Chuck Wilson, SOTIO has the clinical expertise to fast track the program’s development. For many years Unum has been seeking strategic opportunities for the BOXR technology and programs, and having accomplished a sale agreement with Sotio is an important milestone.
“We are extremely proud of…our employees and investors for not only supporting our vision but advancing it as well. We look forward to SOTIO’s progress on the BOXR programs in the future,” Wilson announced.
The Transition of Operations between SOTIO and Unum
The change of hand of the BOXR cell-based therapy technology will bring along other operational variations. Some Unum staff allied with the BOXR programs will shift to SOTIO. This is in addition to SOTIO taking on the charge of a portion of Unum’s Cambridge facilities, MA.
However, as it refocuses on the improvement of small molecule precision kinase inhibitors, Unum will also keep certain staff as well as some space within the Cambridge facilities. Meanwhile, Unum has confirmed the completion of the acquisition of Kiq LLC. The company has also appointed Peter Harwin, a co-founder of Fairmount Funds Management LLC, as Board Chair. He is expected to guide Unum in putting together its future vision of delivering best-in-class therapies.