Gothenburg, April 27, 2022 - Elicera Therapeutics AB (publ) ("Elicera"), a clinical stage cell and gene therapy company developing next-generation immuno-oncological treatments based on enhanced CAR T-cells and oncolytic viruses, announced today it has concluded preclinical proof-of-concept studies for its oncolytic virus ELC-201. The study results confirm ELC-201's proposed mode-of-action.
ELC-201 is a next-generation oncolytic virus that has been genetically modified to enable treatment of most cancers. The drug candidate has been armed with Elicera's proprietary platform technology, iTANK, to elicit a parallel immune response and attack on cancer cells by the patients' own endogenous killer T-cells. In addition, ELC-201 is armed with yet another immune stimulating factor, 4-1BBL, to further amplify the anti-cancer immune response.Preclinical studies, including data from pancreatic cancer animal models, show that ELC-201:
- Effectively infiltrates and kills tumor cells.
- Effectively induces a parallel (bystander) immune response and boosts the function of tumor infiltrating immune cells.
- Better controls tumor growth and increases survival in comparison to placebo.
- Better controls tumor growth and increases survival in comparison to the same oncolytic virus but without iTANK and 4-1BBL arming.
"ELC-201 represents the cutting edge of research in the field of cell and gene therapies and the conclusion of preclinical proof-of-concept studies represents an important milestone in moving the candidate closer to clinical studies. We look forward to starting the analysis of our lead indication for ELC-201", says Jamal El-Mosleh, CEO of Elicera Therapeutics. "We are very excited about this asset and see huge potential in ELC-201's ability to treat cancer and elicit a strong parallel immune response against cancer. The concluded preclinical proof-of-concept studies only confirm this. That oncolytic viruses, and not only CAR T-cells, armed with iTANK also do a better job of controlling tumor growth and increasing survival is also a testament to the platform technology's potential."
ELC-201 is a next-generation oncolytic virus with a combined three mode-of-actions in the treatment of cancer. The drug candidate has been genetically modified with the company's proprietary immune enhancing platform technology, iTANK, in addition to 4-1BBL, both of which lead to strong activation of the patient's endogenous killer T-cells, leading to a broad parallel attack on cancer cells. ELC-201 is applicable for treatment of most cancers.
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 endogenous 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. Preclinical proof-of-concept data was recently published in Nature Biomedical Engineering and can be found here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41551-022-00875-5.