2007 - 2011
Professor Magnus Essand, together with Di Yu and other research colleagues, begins the development of a new oncolytic virus (precursor to ELC-100), found to have a remarkable ability to kill neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) in mice.
Preclinical development is completed and the project is put on hold as further funding is lacking to start clinical trials.
Author and freelance journalist Alexander Masters from England contacts Professor Magnus Essand to explore the possibilities of using the oncolytic virus to treat a friend and colleague affected by NET. Professor Essand informs that funding to start a clinical trial is lacking which Alexander Masters subsequently writes about in the British newspaper "The Telegraph" where he also suggests that anyone who donates a million British pounds should have the virus named after him1.
2012 - 2013
The article gets wide spread attention and a crowdfunding campaign, iCancer2, is initiated by Alexander Masters, Dominic Nutt and Liz Scarff to get the funds needed for a clinical trial in NET. As a result, thousands of people from around the world together donate a substantial sum for the cause of which the majority by oil tycoon Vince Hamilton, himself affected by NET. The oncolytic virus is named AdVince in his honor3.
The iTANK platform, ELC-001, begins development, initially for oncolytic viruses.
With new financing, ELC-100/Advince is patented and VirEx AB is founded to manage the asset. At the same time, the patent is out-licensed to the immunono-oncology company Immunicum AB (publ), which also gives VirEx an exclusive license to use the technology for treatment of NET4. The VictoryNET-foundation is established to support research in NET, including initial clinical development of AdVince5.
2015 - 2016
The iTANK-platform ELC-001, is now being developed also for CAR T-cells
The first clinical trial in the world with an oncolytic virus for treatment of NET is initiated (sponsored by Uppsala University) and the first patient is treated with AdVince. iTANK is being developed now also for CAR T-cells and a patent application is submitted to protect this application.
2017 - 2018
A CAR T-cell therapy, ELC-401, or treatment of solid tumors, is being developed through grants and support from the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development Platform.
UU Innovation grants Di Yu 250 TSEK for preclinical proof-of-concept studies of ELC-201.
The Swedish Cancer Society grants Professor Magnus Essand a total of SEK 13.5 million in grants, of which SEK 4.5 million is dedicated to the development of ELC-4016. The remaining SEK 9 million is granted for planning and conducting a clinical study with ELC-301 for CAR T-cell treatment of B-cell lymphoma. In addition, UU Innovation grants Di Yu 250 TSEK for preclinical proof-of-concept studies of ELC-401.
The Sjöberg Foundation grants professor Magnus Essand SEK 6 million, half of which is dedicated to preclinical development of ELC-4017. Di Yu is granted the prestigious Göran Gustafsson Stiftelse Prize in Medicine for Young Researchers for his research of CAR T-cells and oncolytic viruses8. VirEx AB changes its name to Elicera Therapeutics AB.