ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Agilvax, Inc., a biotechnology company that develops targeted cancer immunotherapies and vaccines, has completed a Series A1 financing, which complements the Series A round from 2014. Both Series A and A1 were led by Hunt Holdings with a co-investment by Sun Mountain Capital. The funds will be used to expand the pre-IND studies for its lead program AX09 in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The Company is also evaluating the use of AX09 in combination with other cancer therapeutics, as well as strengthening its immunotherapy platform.

Federica Pericle, Ph.D., MBA, Agilvax’s CEO, remarked, “This funding shows the belief our investors have in our progress and platform. With this additional funding, we will move AX09 closer to the clinic for TNBC, a truly unmet need in women’s health. We are also excited to continue to build our platform and pipeline.”

TNBC is a histological subtype of breast cancer that is aggressive, with an overall poor prognosis due to a lack of effective treatment options. Chemotherapy remains the primary treatment for TNBC across the different settings: neoadjuvant, adjuvant, and metastatic.

AX09 is a virus-like particle (VLP) that displays a portion of the extracellular domain of the cystine-glutamate antiporter system protein xCT (SLC7A11), which has been found to be overexpressed in cancer stem cells. TNBC is enriched in cancer stem cells, which contributes to the aggressive nature of TNBC. Cancer stem cells have unique biological properties that represent a key cellular reservoir for relapse, metastatic progression and therapeutic resistance. Thus, the development of therapies that eliminate cancer stem cells is paramount to creating a durable response.