Gothenburg, April 4, 2022 - Elicera Therapeutics AB (publ) ("Elicera"), a clinical stage cell and gene therapy company developing next generation immuno-oncological treatments based on enhanced oncolytic viruses and CAR T-cells, today announced the publication of a scientific article describing the mechanism-of-action of Elicera's universal CAR T-cell enhancement technology platform iTANK in Nature Biomedical Engineering, one of the highest ranked scientific journals in the world. Proof-of-concept data presented in the publication also indicate that the iTANK-platform is universally compatible with other CAR T-cell therapies.
The iTANK-platform is intended to counteract two of the major challenges CAR T-cell therapies face in the treatment of solid tumors: antigen heterogeneity and a hostile tumor microenvironment.
"I am thrilled that scientific information and data about the iTANK-platform have been published in one of the highest ranked (impact factor 25,7) and most prestigious journals within the field of biomedical engineering. The publication is an important external validation of the iTANK technology platform and the science behind its ability to create a multi-targeted attack on solid tumors. A CAR T-cell therapy for treatment of solid tumors has yet to be approved, so this is an important step forward in realizing this opportunity," said Jamal El-Mosleh, CEO of Elicera. iTANK (immunotherapies Activated with NAP for efficient Killing) is Elicera's universal CAR T-cell enhancement technology platform whose mechanism-of-action generates a parallel immune response by a multitargeted attack on cancer cells through activation of endogenous killer T-cells:
- The iTANK technology platform arms CAR T-cells with a transgene that codes for a Helicobacter Pylorineutrophil-activating protein (NAP). When the CAR(NAP) T-cell binds to tumor cells, NAP is released which will activate surrounding immune cells to further release cytokines and chemokines.
- This in turn creates a proinflammatory environment which directly combats the hostile tumor microenvironment in solid tumors and strengthens the function of the CAR T-cells.
- The proinflammatory microenvironment will also induce a so called "bystander" immune activation, meaning that antigen-presenting-cells will be recruited to the tumor site, where they will pick up the whole set of relevant tumor target antigens that have been released from dying tumor cells due to the CAR T-cell tumor attack. These target antigens will then be presented to CD8+ killer T-cells in the lymph nodes and the activated killer T-cells will subsequently seek out and destroy tumor cells that carry these target antigens.
Preclinical proof-of-concept data presented in the article, which were also presented at the European Society of Cell & Gene Therapy Congress (https://www.elicera.com/press-releases/elicera-therapeutics-presents-preclinical-proof-of-concept-data-for-its-itank-platform-at-the-european-society-of-cell-gene-therapy-congress) in October 2021, show that iTANK-enhanced CAR(NAP) T-cells are more successful in reducing tumor growth and enhancing survival of mice than conventional CAR T-cells regardless of the choice of CAR-molecule, tumor type, or mouse model, indicating that the iTANK-platform is universally compatible with other CAR T-cell therapies.
The publication, titled "CAR T cells expressing a bacterial virulence factor trigger potent bystander antitumour responses in solid cancers" (DOI number: 10.1038/s41551-022-00875-5) can be found here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41551-022-00875-5.
This constitutes information that Elicera Therapeutics AB is required to publish under the EU's Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication through the above contact person on April 4[th], 2022 17.00 CET.