MEDTECH

Flamingo Therapeutics Expands Alliance with Ionis Pharmaceuticals to Develop RNA-targeted Therapies for Oncology

Flamingo Therapeutics, Inc. | September 09, 2021

Flamingo Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering RNA-targeting therapies in oncology, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Ionis Pharmaceuticals to develop RNA-targeted therapies to treat various forms of cancer.  This alliance is an expansion of an existing collaboration with Ionis on the FLAME™ discovery engine, following Flamingo's Series A financing in 2020.

The agreement and discovery alliance will leverage Flamingo's deep expertise in oncology and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in combination with Ionis' expertise in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development to advance candidates against targets considered undruggable with traditional approaches.   Flamingo's pipeline will include three clinical-stage programs from Ionis, inhibitors of STAT-3, Androgen Receptor (AR) and IRF4, and one preclinical-stage program that targets MALAT1, a well-characterized lncRNA target.  Flamingo will also advance its proprietary discovery engine, FLAME (Flamingo LncRNA Antisense Mining Engine), that addresses lncRNAs, a large and untapped class of disease-causing targets within the dark matter of the human genome.

"We're thrilled to strengthen our relationship with Ionis who has been at the forefront of RNA-targeted therapy for thirty years," said Michael Garrett, Chief Executive Officer of Flamingo.  "We believe the combination of Ionis' leadership in RNA and our cutting-edge lncRNA discovery engine will expand the opportunities for applying RNA-targeted approaches to oncology."

"We are pleased that Flamingo is leveraging their core strengths in developing novel cancer medicines to advance innovative Ionis-discovered oncology therapies where there is an unmet need," said Brett P. Monia, Ph.D., Ionis' chief executive officer.

In connection with the alliance, Rob MacLeod, Ph.D., VP, Oncology Research & Development of Ionis, will serve as Chief Scientific Officer of Flamingo.  Under the terms of the agreement, Ionis is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on future product sales of the STAT3, AR, IRF4 and MALAT1 programs.  Flamingo retains full rights to its FLAME platform and all lncRNA programs outside of MALAT1.

Flamingo Therapeutics was founded by VIB, Ghent University, KU Leuven, the University of Michigan, Kurma Partners and PMV, based on pioneering work led by Professor Jean-Christophe Marine (VIB-KU Leuven), Professor Pieter Mestdagh (Ghent University) and Professor Arul Chinnaiyan (University of Michigan). These scientific teams broke new ground on non-coding RNA genes in cancer and were among the first to show a role for lncRNAs as disease drivers in oncology.

About Flamingo Therapeutics
Flamingo is pioneering RNA-targeted therapies for oncology with state-of-the art chemistries.  Flamingo has the most advanced antisense RNA-targeting oncology portfolio with three clinical programs targeting undruggable transcription factors and splice variants.  To support and expand its pipeline, Flamingo has a proprietary discovery engine, FLAME™ (Flamingo LncRNA Antisense Mining Engine), that addresses lncRNAs, a large and untapped class of disease-causing targets within the "dark matter" of the human genome.  The Company was founded in 2020 based on pioneering work in the field of lncRNAs in oncology with our academic partners at VIB, KU Leuven, Ghent University and the University of Michigan.  Flamingo has a discovery alliance with Ionis Pharmaceuticals and is supported by well-known biotechnology investors Kurma Partners and PMV.   The company is headquartered in Belgium with additional operations in San Diego, CA.

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Ray Suarez talks with writer Emily Anthes about the sometimes wild and weird outcomes when scientists experiment on animals. In her new book, "Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts," Anthes looks at the ethical limits of -- and our emotional reactions to -- the use of animals to explore biotechnology.

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