FAK to the future: Innate breathes new life into CTx FAK assets

Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx), a small molecule oncology drug discovery and development group partnered with some of Australia’s pre-eminent medical research institutions, is pleased to announce two Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) targeting drug candidates originally developed by CTx have been acquired by Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd (Innate) through its acquisition of Amplia Therapeutics Pty Ltd (Amplia).

FAK is emerging as a promising target in both combination cancer therapy and fibrosis.

Amplia had previously in-licensed the two FAK targeting drug candidates (currently referred to as AMP886 and AMP945) from Cancer Research Technology Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK.  The drug candidates were originally developed by CTx.

All the shares in Amplia, a privately owned Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company, have now been acquired by ASX listed Innate in exchange for new ordinary shares issued by Innate.  The previous shareholders of Amplia now own 45% of the total issued capital of Innate.  The Board and management of Innate now includes representatives from the Amplia team.

“Successful development of these potentially beneficial drugs should eventually see benefits flow back to our original partners.” said CTx Advisor, Dr Warwick Tong. “CTx was established to translate good research, provide benefits for patients and see commercial rewards flow back to the biotechnology sector in Australia.

According to Innate director Dr Robert Peach, “there have been multiple independent high-quality publications suggesting that the successful targeting of FAK could increase the efficacy of other immuno-oncology therapies in tumours where to date they have limited anti-tumour effects as single agents”.  Dr Robert Peach, who led the Company’s technical review of the drug candidates said that “CTx have done an excellent job selecting and characterizing AMP886 and AMP945 before licensing them to Cancer Research Technology Limited.”

CTx will stay closely involved with the development of these assets. Dr Mark Devlin, CTx Director of Translation Biology, has been appointed as a Scientific Advisor to Innate.


About CTx: CTx is an oncology focused small molecule drug discovery and early development biotechnology group, established under the Australian government’s Cooperative Research Centre initiative. CTx’s unique partnership model leverages the capabilities and expertise of its Industry Participants with those of a number of Australia’s pre-eminent Medical Research Institutes and Universities.

About the CRC Programme: The CRC Programme supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community. Australia’s network of CRCs operates across all sectors of Australia’s economy and society. Further information about the CRC Programme is available at www.business.gov.au