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Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) enters licensing agreement for CORE-NK cell platform 

Highlights

  • Chimeric Therapeutics has reached an agreement for the exclusive right to license the CORE-NK cell platform.
  • Using the platform, the Company intends to accelerate the development of multiple next-generation off the shelf NK and CAR-NK products.
  • The development propels Chimeric forward as the Australian leader in cell therapy and as an emerging global cell therapy company.

In a significant development, Chimeric Therapeutics Limited (ASX:CHM) is transforming its portfolio with a Clinically validated, Off the shelf, Robust, Enhanced Natural Killer (CORE-NK) cell platform from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).

The clinical-stage cell therapy company has entered into an option agreement with CWRU to secure the exclusive right to license the CORE-NK cvellplatform for development and commercialisation in cancer.

CORE-NK cell platform in a nutshell

Designed and developed by Dr. David Wald, a leading expert in immuno-oncology at CWRU in Ohio (USA), the CORE-NK platform is aimed at strengthening the natural properties of NK cells in fighting cancer. The CORE-NK cell platform technology puts forward the optimal foundation for the development of multiple next-generation off the shelf NK and CAR-NK products.

The platform makes use of a foundation of healthy donor NK cells, activating and expanding them to establish an off the shelf NK cell platform to ensure an abundant supply of highly robust and active NK cells.

The prestigious family of Nature publications had featured the preclinical data on the CORE-NK platform in the year 2019.

Understanding off the shelf therapies


Image Source: CHM update, Nov 2021

Timeline of the ongoing clinical trial of CORE-NK platform

May 2018: Phase 1 clinical trial began at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center to examine the CORE-NK platform in patients with both blood cancers and solid tumours.

June 2021: The phase 1 clinical trial of the CORE-NK platform was completed with clinical data expected in 2022. During the trial, the safety, bioactivity and efficacy of the CORE-NK platform cells was examined at three dose levels in patients with both blood cancers and solid tumours.

With the clinical validation from the phase 1 trial complete, the platform provides the ideal off the shelf platform for the development of next generation NK and CAR-NK products.

MUST READ: Chimeric Therapeutics partners with Oncobay Clinical to advance clinical trials

CORE-NK platform development plan

CORE-NK platform development plan


Image Source: CHM update, Nov 2021

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Prospects to develop a next-generation CORE-NK platform

The ASX-listed cell therapy company has a target to initiate a research collaboration with CWRU to advance the CORE-NK platform cells for building a next-generation CORE-NK platform and three initial CAR-NK products.

Enhanced activation and expansion features will be deployed in the development of the next-generation CORE-NK platform. It will be studied as a combination therapy in blood cancers.

As far as three initial CAR-NK products are concerned, they will be developed utilising the next-generation CORE-NK platform as a backbone. It will leverage CHM’s current pipeline of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs); a CLTX CAR-NK (CHM 1301), a CDH17 CAR-NK (CHM 2301) and a currently undisclosed target CAR-NK (CHM 3301).

 

Development in blood cancers as combination therapy
Image Source: CHM update, Nov 2021

Will the development turn out to be a transformative leap for Chimeric?

Making strides in the development of innovative autologous (personalised) and allogeneic (off the shelf) NK and T cell assets is expected to place the biotech firm on a higher vertex as the Australian leader in cell therapy and as an emerging global cell therapy company.

The CORE-NK platform technology will triple CHM’s existing portfolio by acting as a catalyst in developing several new, off the shelf NK cell assets.

ALSO READ: Chimeric Therapeutics ticks off a crucial milestone; secures IND clearance for CHM 1101

*More details about the licensing agreement (as per ASX:CHM release on 7 December)

As per the terms of the license agreement, Chimeric holds the exclusive right to license the CORE-NK platform for development and commercialization in cancer for six months, commencing immediately. It is expected that Chimeric will pay CWRU development milestones and industry standard royalty payments on the basis of commercial net sales in order to complete full licensing of the platform.

The funds for the upfront fees for the option agreement will be sourced from the current research budget. The license option can be exercised by Chimeric at any time within the option period of six months. However, the firm must achieve certain milestones as specified in the set development plan.

CHM shares traded at AU$0.260 on 7 December 2021.

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