TESARO NAMED A 2011 FIERCE 15 BIOTECH COMPANY
Boston, MA – September 6, 2011 – TESARO, Inc., an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has been named by FierceBiotech today as one of 2011’s Fierce 15, designating it as one of the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry.
“TESARO has rapidly become a notable player on the grand stage of oncology drug development,” says Ryan McBride, the executive editor of FierceBiotech. “It’s a significant accomplishment for a newly-hatched biotech to raise $121 million and in-license two promising programs in less than two years. This management team knows how to build companies.”
“We are very pleased to have the TESARO team recognized for building a Fierce 15 company,” said Lonnie Moulder, TESARO Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder. “The team’s experience and passion along with the commitment and support of our investors allows us to effectively pursue an aggressive growth strategy for our company.”
In the seventeen months since founding, TESARO has made substantial progress toward building a leading oncology pipeline portfolio. In December 2010, the Company announced that it had in-licensed its first product rolapitant from OPKO Health, Inc. Rolapitant is a Phase 3-ready neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist being developed for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). In March 2011, TESARO announced that it had in-licensed small molecule inhibitors of Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) from Amgen Inc. The ALK program represents a molecularly targeted approach to treating certain cancer sub-populations with compounds that have promising potency, selectivity and pharmaceutical properties. TESARO plans to develop ALK inhibitors for oncology indications including the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors express an ALK fusion protein. An ALK inhibitor was recently approved for use in this patient population.
This is FierceBiotech’s ninth annual Fierce 15 selection.
An internationally recognized daily newsletter reaching more than 90,000 biotech and pharma industry professionals, FierceBiotech provides subscribers with a quick, authoritative briefing on the day’s top stories. Every year FierceBiotech evaluates hundreds of private companies for its annual list, which is based on a variety of factors such as the strength of its technology, partnerships, venture backers and a competitive market position.
The Fierce 15 celebrates the spirit of being “fierce” – championing innovation and creativity, even in the face of intense competition. A complete list of “Fierce 15” companies—the online newsletter’s ninth annual selection–is available online at www.fiercebiotech.com.
Rolapitant, a potent and selective neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist with an extended plasma half-life, has completed Phase 2 clinical testing for prevention of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and chronic cough. Phase 2 testing in cancer patients treated with highly emetogenic chemotherapy demonstrated promising five-day activity in CINV prevention following the administration of a single dose. The safety and tolerability of single and repeat doses of rolapitant has been assessed in over 1,000 healthy volunteers and patients. Rolapitant is an investigational agent and has not been approved by regulatory agencies.
About Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)
CINV is estimated to afflict over 70% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and, if not prevented, may possibly result in a delay or even discontinuation of chemotherapy treatment. Prolonged nausea and vomiting may result in unwanted weight loss, dehydration and malnutrition as well as hospitalization.
NK1 receptors are highly concentrated in the brain and bind the neurokinin substance P. Activation of NK1 receptors plays a central role in nausea and vomiting induced by emetogenic stimuli, including certain cancer chemotherapies. NK1 receptor antagonists have been demonstrated to improve the management of nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
About Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
ALK gene fusions and mutations that result in constitutive activation of ALK are associated with sub-sets of certain cancers including NSCLC. ALK is thought to be a key driver of certain types of cancers, including a sub-population of NSCLC as demonstrated in clinical trials of an ALK inhibitor. Abnormal ALK proteins are also associated with sub-populations of other cancers including lymphoma and neuroblastoma. ALK is generally not expressed or is expressed at low levels in normal adult tissue and therefore represents a promising molecular target for the development of a cancer therapeutic.
Worldwide, over 1.3 million new lung cancer cases are identified annually. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. NSCLC is responsible for approximately 85% of all lung cancer cases with 75% of these patients being diagnosed with metastatic or advanced disease, for which the five-year survival rate is approximately 5%. ALK is believed to be a key driver of tumor development in approximately 5% of all NSCLC patients.
About TESARO, Inc.
Founded in 2010, TESARO is a privately held oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients. The Company intends to leverage the experience and competencies of its management team to identify, acquire and develop promising drug candidates; and to commercialize safer and more effective products for the treatment and support of cancer patients. TESARO is developing rolapitant, a potent, selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist that has completed Phase 2 clinical testing for the prevention of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, and is advancing its ALK inhibitor program for oncology indications. Phase 3 clinical testing of rolapitant is planned to commence during 2011 and the first ALK inhibitor clinical trial is targeted to begin in 2012. TESARO was co-founded by former executives of MGI PHARMA, an oncology and acute-care focused biopharmaceutical company that Eisai Co., Ltd. acquired in 2008 for $3.9 billion. TESARO is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.tesarobio.com.
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