- Imugene and Eureka Therapeutics have entered into a strategic research partnership for the treatment of solid tumours.
- The collaboration will evaluate Imugene’s CD19 oncolytic virus onCARlytics technology in combination with Eureka’s anti-CD19 ARTEMIS® T-cell therapy for cancer treatment.
- The two treatments have the potential to shift the cellular medicine paradigm in treating solid tumours.
Shares of immuno-oncology player Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU) rose as much as 9% during the morning trading session of 1 November 2021 following a new collaboration update. The shares continued to be in the green zone, trading at AU$0.525, up 6% at 03:10 PM AEDT.
In a significant development, Imugene and Eureka Therapeutics, Inc. have entered into a strategic collaboration for the treatment of solid tumours.
The Strategic Research Partnership
The partnership is aimed at the evaluation of the therapeutic potential of a combination of Imugene’s CD19 oncolytic virus onCARlytics technology in combination with Eureka’s anti-CD19 ARTEMIS® T-cell therapy for the treatment of solid tumours.
The combination of oncolytic viruses with T-cell therapies reflects an innovative approach for solid tumour treatment.
In preclinical studies held by the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, scientists combined CAR-T therapy with an oncolytic virus to eliminate solid tumours in mice. The virus enters the tumour cells and forces them to express the CD19 protein on the cell surface, presenting a target for anti-CD19 T-cells to pursue and kill.
Imugene licenced the patents covering City of Hope’s oncolytic virus technology in May 2021.
Image source: Company presentation dated 1 November 2021
Commenting on the partnership, Leslie Chong, MD & CEO of Imugene, said: “T-cell and CAR-T therapies have not achieved much success in solid tumours in part because of a lack of tumour-specific targets. By using our proprietary oncolytic technology to force the tumour to express the CD19 target, we now have the ability to address this shortcoming.
We believe the synergy between our onCARlytics platform and Eureka’s anti-CD19 ARTEMIS® T-cells has the potential to shift the cellular medicine paradigm in treating solid tumours.”
Eureka Therapeutics – A Leader in Solid Tumour T-cell Therapy
Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Eureka Therapeutics is a leader in solid tumour T-cell therapy.
The clinical-stage biotechnology company is focused on developing potentially safer and more effective T cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumours and hematologic malignancies using its proprietary ARTEMIS® cell receptor platform and E-ALPHA® antibody discovery platform.
ET140203 and ECT204, its lead assets, are currently in Phase I/II US multi-centre clinical trials in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer.
ARTEMIS® T-cells have highlighted enhanced tumour infiltration, superior efficacy, and less T-cell exhaustion in head-to-head pre-clinical studies against CAR-T cells.
Moreover, in the clinical context, ARTEMIS® T-cells have demonstrated reduced cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and other cytokine-related toxicities compared to CAR-T cells, potentially improving the efficacy and safety of a combination approach.
With this collaboration, Imugene moves a step forward to achieve its aim to help transform and improve cancer treatment with a growing body of clinical evidence and peer-reviewed research.
The biotech firm is well funded and resourced to achieve on its commercial and clinical milestones and make its immune-oncology therapies the foundation treatments for cancer.