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Elicera Therapeutics enters agreement with BioNTech for contract manufacturing of viral vectors for CAR T-cell therapy

Gothenburg, November 9, 2021 - Elicera Therapeutics AB (publ), a clinical stage cell and gene therapy company that develops immunooncological treatments focusing on CAR T-cells and oncolytic viruses, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with BioNTech for contract manufacturing regarding viral vectors for the company's CAR T-cell therapy, ELC-401.

BioNTech IMFS is a contract development and manufacturing organization in Germany that specializes in the industrialization of cell and gene therapies such as virus vectors and cell products. Elicera Therapeutics has entered into an agreement with BioNTech that regulates contract manufacturing of the retroviral vector that will be used to construct CAR T-cells for a phase I/II clinical study with ELC-401 in the treatment of glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

- BioNTech has solid experience of retrovirus production and is well positioned to plan and implement the production of virus vectors for ELC-401 and the clinical phase I/II study we have before us, says Jamal El-Mosleh, CEO of Elicera. We expect to have completed the production of viral vectors by the second half of 2022 and that we can start treating patients with ELC-401 by second half of 2023.

About ELC-401

ELC-401 is an IL13Ra2-directed CAR T-cell therapy in the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. Initially, the company intends to use ELC-401 in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer, but the company sees potential for the treatment of additional solid tumors such as colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and melanoma. ELC-401 has been armed with the company's iTANK platform for activating CD8 + killer T-cells against the entire set of relevant targets on tumor cells, thus generating a powerful parallel immune response against cancer. A clinical phase I/II study is expected to be initiated in second half of 2023.

About glioblastoma (GBM)

Glioblastoma, also known as grade IV astrocytoma, is the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer. It accounts for 54 percent of all gliomas and 16 percent of all primary brain tumors, and has a median survival of 15 months. (Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470003/)

About the iTANK platform

The iTANK (immunoTherapies Activated with NAP for efficient Killing) platform is the company's own fully developed technology platform for strengthening and arming CAR T-cells. The technology is used to incorporate a transgene into CAR T-cells encoding a neutrophil activating protein (NAP) from the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Upon activation, NAP has been shown to be able to enhance the function of the CAR T-cell in addition to activating a parallel immune response via CD8 + killer T-cells. It is expected to be able to generate a broad attack against most targets on cancer cells. The iTANK platform is used to strengthen the company's own CAR T cells but can also be applied to other CAR T-cells under development.

Source: Cision
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