Faron Founders and bexmarilimab Developers Selected as Finalists for the European Inventor Award 2024
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Faron Founders and bexmarilimab Developers Selected as Finalists for the European Inventor Award 2024

  • Dr. Markku Jalkanen and Dr. Sirpa Jalkanen, Faron’s co-founders, have been nominated as one of three finalists in the ‘SMEs’ category of prestigious European Patent Office Awards
  • Nominated in recognition of research developing bexmarilimab, an investigational immunotherapy optimising clinical outcomes in cancer treatment
  • Voting now open for “Popular Prize” award ahead of ceremony on July 9 via dedicated link: Sirpa Jalkanen and Markku Jalkanen | Epo.org

TURKU, Finland and BOSTON, May 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (AIM: FARN, First North: FARON), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing a CLEVER approach to reprogramming myeloid cells to activate anti-tumor immunity in hematological and solid tumor microenvironments, today announces the nomination of its co-founders, Dr. Markku Jalkanen and Dr. Sirpa Jalkanen, as finalists in the ‘SMEs’ category of the European Inventor Award 2024.

Dr. Markku Jalkanen, co-founder, Board member and former CEO of Faron, and Dr. Sirpa Jalkanen, co-founder and member of Faron’s Scientific Advisory Board, have been nominated in recognition of their research developing Faron’s wholly owned precision cancer immunotherapy candidate, bexmarilimab. One of the most advanced myeloid cell-targeting immunotherapy candidates in development, bexmarilimab is designed to target the Clever-1 receptor present on macrophages, activating anti-tumor immunity in hematological and solid tumor microenvironments to overcome resistance and provide better patient outcomes.

Bexmarilimab is currently being investigated in the ongoing BEXMAB trial, evaluating the candidate’s safety and efficacy in combination with standard of care (SoC) in patients with hypomethylating agents (HMAs)-refractory or relapsed myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), an aggressive myeloid leukemia with very few treatment options.

In addition, every year, the public can vote for their favorite inventor: the Popular Prize goes to the shortlisted inventor with the most votes. The winners in each category, and the winner of the Popular Prize, will be announced at the online award ceremony on 9 July 2024. For further information and to vote for the Popular Prize, visit: Sirpa Jalkanen and Markku Jalkanen | Epo.org

Dr. Markku Jalkanen, Board member and former CEO of Faron, said: “It is an honor to be recognized by the European Patent Office and nominated for this prestigious award. The continued progress of our ambitious bexmarilimab development program and the exceptional data we are seeing in the ongoing Phase I/II BEXMAB trial, reaffirms our belief in the potential of bexmarilimab to change the treatment paradigm. These highly significant findings provide us with continued confidence that bexmarilimab can improve the quality of life of those suffering from these aggressive hematological cancers, where there are limited options available for future therapy.”

Launched by the European Patent Office in 2006, the European Inventor Award is one of Europe’s most renowned innovation prizes. This award recognizes people behind successful inventions in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and honors individuals who transform their ideas into solutions to address some of the biggest challenges of our time.

For more information please contact:

Faron Pharmaceuticals
Investor Contact
LifeSci Advisors
Daniel Ferry
Managing Director
+1 (617) 430-7576

ICR Consilium
Mary-Jane Elliott, David Daley, Lindsey Neville
Phone: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
E-mail: faron@consilium-comms.com

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP, Nomad
Sandy Jamieson, Jo Turner
Phone: +44 (0) 207 213 0880

Peel Hunt LLP, Broker
Christopher Golden, James Steel
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Sisu Partners Oy, Certified Adviser on Nasdaq First North
Juha Karttunen
Phone: +358 (0)40 555 4727
Jukka Järvelä
Phone: +358 (0)50 553 8990

About Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy 
Faron (AIM: FARN, First North: FARON) is a global, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focused on tackling cancers via novel immunotherapies. Its mission is to bring the promise of immunotherapy to a broader population by uncovering novel ways to control and harness the power of the immune system. The Company’s lead asset is bexmarilimab, a novel anti-Clever-1 humanized antibody, with the potential to remove immunosuppression of cancers through targeting myeloid cell function. Bexmarilimab is being investigated in Phase I/II clinical trials as a potential therapy for patients with hematological cancers in combination with other standard treatments and as a monotherapy in last line solid cancers. Further information is available at www.faron.com.

The BEXMAB study is an open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial investigating bexmarilimab in combination with standard of care (SoC) in the aggressive hematological malignancies of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The primary objective is to determine the safety and tolerability of bexmarilimab in combination with SoC (azacitidine) treatment. Directly targeting Clever-1 could limit the replication capacity of cancer cells, increase antigen presentation, ignite an immune response, and allow current treatments to be more effective. Clever-1 is highly expressed in both AML and MDS and associated with therapy resistance, limited T cell activation and poor outcomes.

About Bexmarilimab
Bexmarilimab is Faron’s wholly owned, investigational immunotherapy designed to overcome resistance to existing treatments and optimize clinical outcomes, by targeting myeloid cell function and igniting the immune system. Bexmarilimab binds to Clever-1, an immunosuppressive receptor found on macrophages leading to tumor growth and metastases (i.e. helps cancer evade the immune system). By targeting the Clever-1 receptor on macrophages, bexmarilimab alters the tumor microenvironment, reprogramming macrophages from an immunosuppressive (M2) state to an immunostimulatory (M1) one, upregulating interferon production and priming the immune system to attack tumors and sensitizing cancer cells to standard of care.

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