• Microba will progress to preclinical trial in 2022
  • Anatara’s CEO resigns

Newly listed Microba Life Sciences (ASX:MAP) has identified three therapeutic leads for the company’s immuno-oncology program, significantly earlier than expected.

The company says it will progress to preclinical assessment in 2022, approximately 12 months earlier than expected.

Microba’s cancer immuno-oncology program is targeting the discovery and development of a microbiome therapy, in order to improve response rates in cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy.

The company’s programs have a specific focus on melanoma and lung cancer patients.

Microba says the three new therapeutic leads that will be trialled in pre-clinical models have been discovered through a recently completed meta-analysis of its own proprietary MCP microbiome profiling technology.

The program has been supported by the company’s partnership with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research – with both organisations being co-funded by a government grant.

Garvan has been targeting the collection of data on thousands of cancer patients to establish a leading cancer microbiome dataset.

In terms of market size opportunities, existing ICI therapies from Merck and BMS generate in excess of $20bn in sales per year, despite 42-80% of patients not responding to therapy.

“This acceleration of our oncology program is really pleasing. The discovery of these leads enables us to advance our timelines for this program,” says CEO, Dr Luke Reid.

“Developing an effective adjuvant therapy for cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors has the potential to impact outcomes for millions of patients globally,” he added.

Despite the upbeat announcement, the MAP share price tanked by 5% in morning trading.


Microba share price today:


Anatara’s CEO resigns

Meanwhile, Anatara Lifesciences (ASX:ANR) has today announced the resignation of its CEO, Steven Lydeamore.

Lydeamore, who has been with the company for three and a half years, will remain in the position until the last week of June to assist with an orderly transfer before pursuing other business interests.

Anatara says the board will work closely with Lydeamore to manage the transition by the end of the financial year.

Upon completion of this transition, current chairman of Anatara, Dr David Brookes, will take the role of executive chair with the board’s intention not to immediately seek a replacement for the CEO role.

Anatara has important inflection points looming, notably the GaRP trial interim read out for dose selection expected in the third quarter of this calendar year.

The company is focusing on evidence-based products for gastrointestinal health.


Anatara share price today: