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PDS Biotechnology Nets $1.2M Through NJ Economic Development Program to Advance Oncology Candidates

NEW YORK – PDS Biotechnology said on Tuesday that it has sold its net operating loss tax benefits for $1.2 million.

Florham Park, New Jersey-based PDS sold these benefits to an "unrelated, profitable New Jersey corporation" through its participation in an economic benefit program called the New Jersey Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Net Operating Loss (NOL) program.

The program allows unprofitable New Jersey-based technology or biotech companies to sell a percentage of their NOL and research and development tax credits to profitable companies. Firms are eligible if they have fewer than 225 US employees and if the company buying up the benefits is unrelated. Participating firms must sell their benefits for at least 80 percent of their value and can sell up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $20 million each. The idea is to allow firms to turn their losses and credits into cash proceeds, in turn allowing them to grow and to spend on research and development.

PDS said it will put the $1.2 million raised toward advancing its lead candidate PDS0101 into four Phase II trials and moving another candidate, PDS0103, into the clinic. PDS0101, which the firm is currently evaluating in single-agent and combination trials for several HPV16-related cancers, is designed to target HPV16 antigens on cancer cells and induce CD8 cytotoxic T-cell responses.

The firm is currently evaluating PDS0101 plus Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for HPV16-associated oropharyngeal cancer as well as HPV16-related head and neck cancers.

PDS0103, like PDS0101, was designed using PDS's Versamune T-cell activating technology platform. The investigational immunotherapy targets MUC1, which is overexpressed in multiple cancers and associated with drug resistance and poor outcomes. That agent is currently in late-stage preclinical development for MUC1-associated breast, colon, lung, and ovarian cancers, among others.