Gothenburg, December 22, 2023 - Elicera Therapeutics AB (publ), a clinical stage cell and gene therapy company developing next generation cancer treatments based on its proprietary commercial technology platform iTANK, today announced that that its co-founder, Professor Magnus Essand, has received a total of 4.8 MSEK in funding from the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund. The research project, which spans over three years, will be conducted by professor Magnus Essand's research group at Uppsala University and aims to investigate the ability of CAR T-cells to induce immunity in brain tumors in children.
The research grant from the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund is awarded to Uppsala University, and the results generated in the project will contribute to the understanding of whether Elicera's cell therapy candidate ELC-401 could also be used in the future to treat brain tumors in children.
"We are very pleased that the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund has given our co-founder Magnus Essand the confidence to continue developing his groundbreaking research at Uppsala University. The possibility of developing our cell therapy candidate ELC-401 in the future for the treatment of children with brain tumors is very interesting, and the size of the grant is a clear testament to the importance of Magnus Essand's contributions to cancer research and the potential of Elicera's development projects," says Jamal El-Mosleh, CEO of Elicera Therapeutics.
For further information please contact:
Jamal El-Mosleh, CEO, Elicera Therapeutics AB
Phone: +46 (0) 703 31 90 51
ELC-401 targets the tumor antigen IL13Ra2 – a receptor protein that is overrepresented in Glioblastoma/GBM (brain tumors). The company has been able to show in a preclinical study that IL13Ra2 is an effective tumor target for iTANK-enhanced CAR T-cells. The study, published in Nature Communications in 2023, evaluated the synthetic receptor underlying ELC-401. The results showed, among other things, that the CAR T-cells had a potent cell-killing effect and prolonged survival in the disease model. Thanks to iTANK, ELC-401 is also expected to be able to counteract the strong immunosuppressive microenvironment in glioblastoma and mobilize an immune response also against other targets in this heterogeneous form of cancer. ELC-401 is currently in a late preclinical evaluation phase and the company is evaluating the optimal route of administration for the CAR T-cell therapy.
About the iTANK platform
The iTANK technology platform has been developed for arming and enhancing CAR T-cells to meet two of the major challenges CAR T-cell therapies face in the treatment of solid tumors: tumor antigen heterogeneity and a hostile tumor microenvironment. The technology is used to incorporate a transgene into CAR T-cells encoding a neutrophil activating protein (NAP) from the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. NAP secreted from the CAR(NAP) T-cells has been shown to be able to enhance the function of CAR T-cells and importantly activating a parallel bystander immune response against the cancer via CD8+ killer T-cells. This is expected to lead to a broad attack against most antigen targets on cancer cells. The iTANK platform is used to enhance the company’s own CAR T-cells but can also be universally applied to other CAR T-cell therapies under development. Proof-of-concept data was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering in April 2022. 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. More information about iTANK platform is available here: https://www.elicera.com/technology
About Elicera Therapeutics AB
Elicera Therapeutics AB (publ) has developed the patented gene technology platform iTANK that enables the arming of new and existing CAR T-cell therapies targeting aggressive and relapsing cancer forms. Elicera Therapeutics thereby addresses a well-defined and vast market. The company’s CAR T-cell therapies have shown a potent effect toward solid tumors which are recognized as particularly difficult to treat and constitute the majority of cancer cases. The company addresses a global multibillion market in cell therapy through its offering of non-exclusive licensing of the iTANK-platform to companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Elicera Therapeutics has four internal development projects in immune therapy that separately have the potential to generate substantial value through exclusive out-licensing agreements. The company’s share is traded on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. The company’s certified advisor is Carnegie Investment Bank AB (publ), www.carnegie.se. For additional information, visit www.elicera.com.