Immuno-oncology is a busy market to take on by yourself due to the existing fierce competition. Targovax and Oncos Therapeutics have decided to merge to earn a spot in the field. Polaris, the combined business, contemplates a private placement of around €15M to fund the freshly baked company.

Finland and Norway never were this close as Oncos and Targovax decided to join forces to create a major player within immune-oncology. The new company will be financially backed by institutional investors with HealthCap as the largest shareholder. After the transaction, the shareholders of Oncos will own 50% of Targovax, valued at €26,7M (NOK 236 million).

Strength is in numbers as they say, and both northern companies have interesting assets to bring to the joint Polaris. Oncos, on its behalf, offers ONCOS-102, ready to start its Phase II clinical trial. The candidate is an engineered human serotype 5 adenovirus indicated in several cancer profiles such as soft tissue sarcoma, mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Targovax’s most advanced drug, on the other side, is TG01 a pancreatic cancer drug currently undergoing Phase II.

Oncos and Targovax consider that their pipelines will contribute to set up a comprehensive portfolio, with molecules suitable for combined therapies. The newly born Polaris expects, this way, to reach the critical mass necessary to attract the interest of cancer institutions and Big pharmas.

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