- The funds will advance research on ELI-007 as a mutant BRAF peptide vaccine and ELI-008 as a p53 hotspot mutation peptide vaccine, with the goal of developing multivalent cancer vaccines targeting multiple mutations
/EIN News/ — BOSTON, Sept. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Elicio Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a pipeline of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases, today announced that she was awarded a $2.8 million grant from the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation (GIRF) of Chicago to fund research into two therapeutic cancer vaccines. Both vaccines were designed with Elicio’s proprietary lymph node-targeting Amphiphile (AMP) platform that “educates” T cells on how to target particular antigens, such as mutated proteins in cancer. ELI-007 is being developed to target the BRAF gene mutation, and ELI-008 is being developed to target p53 hotspot mutations in solid tumors including colorectal cancer, melanoma, and breast cancer. non-small cell lung (NSCLC). BRAF V600E mutations are present in 40% of melanomas, 10% of colon cancers and 2% of lung cancers, while p53 mutations are found in approximately 60% of patients with solid tumors.
“We are delighted to receive the GIRF grant and look forward to expanding our pipeline by developing ELI-007 and ELI-008 to target these key cancer mutations. The p53 hotspot mutants and the BRAF mutant are examples of public cancer neoantigens shared by many patients and tumor types with limited therapeutic options to provide lasting therapeutic benefit,” said Peter DeMuth, Ph.D., scientific director at Elicio. “By targeting vaccine components to the lymph nodes, the AMP strategy is uniquely suited to enhance tumor-specific immunity with the potential to eradicate tumors and promote long-lasting patient responses.”
Previous research has shown that T cells can respond to the pilot V600E mutation in BRAF and that transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes that recognize mutated BRAF resulted in a durable complete response in one case study. Additionally, small molecule inhibitors generate initial responses in BRAF V600E-mutated melanoma, but these are not maintained due to resistance due to alternative growth signaling pathways, and few initial responses occur. in BRAF-mutated colon cancer. The protein expression of BRAF V600E is maintained at high levels in these tumors suggesting that they would be sensitive to T lymphocytes specific for the mutated BRAF.
Christopher Haqq, MD, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer, added, “These mutations are recognized by some patients’ T cells at low levels, and when the cells T recognize tumor-associated antigens like p53 were present, progression-free survival in NSCLC was prolonged. The development of ELI-007 and ELI-008 represents the next level of our current pipeline of lymph node-targeted assets, which includes ELI-002, a therapeutic cancer vaccine, which is currently part of the cohort 3 of a phase 1/2 trial in patients with mKRAS tumors. We have prioritized the application of our AMP platform to promote immunity against validated cancer targets like BRAF and p53, thus supporting GIRF, which is at the forefront of gastrointestinal research, including understood in oncology, is a great opportunity to work together to improve patient outcomes.”
Jackie Casey, JD, Executive Director, Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation, added, “Patients have been at the center of our work at GIRF from the very beginning, and this grant reflects our mission to transform lives through groundbreaking research. Elicio’s AMP platform has demonstrated the potential to amplify T cell numbers and extend their function with promising data. With funds directed by a generous donor, we are proud to support this innovative biotechnology company as it pushes the boundaries of therapeutic cancer vaccine development.
About the amphiphile platform
Our proprietary Amphiphile, or AMP, platform delivers experimental immunotherapies directly to the “brain center” of the immune system: the lymph nodes. We believe that this site-specific delivery of disease-specific antigens, adjuvants, and other immunomodulators can effectively educate, activate, and amplify critical immune cells, potentially resulting in the induction and persistence of potent adaptive immunity. necessary to treat many diseases. In preclinical models, we have observed lymph node-specific engagement resulting in therapeutic immune responses of increased magnitude, function, and durability. We believe that our lymph node-targeted approach to AMP will yield superior clinical benefits compared to immunotherapies that do not engage lymph nodes.
Our AMP platform, originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, has broad potential in cancers, infectious diseases, and other disease indications to advance a number of development initiatives through internal activities, licensing agreements or development collaborations and partnerships.
The Amphiphile platform has been shown to deliver immunotherapies directly to the lymph nodes by latching onto the protein albumin, present in the bloodstream, as it travels to the lymphatic tissues. In preclinical models, we have observed lymph node-specific engagement resulting in therapeutic immune responses of increased magnitude, function, and durability.
About Elicio Therapeutics
Elicio Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a pipeline of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. By combining expertise in immunology and immunotherapy, Elicio designs experimental amphiphilic immunotherapies that aim to precisely target and fully engage the lymph nodes, the site in our body where the immune response is orchestrated. Elicio designs AMPLifiers, immunomodulators, adjuvants and lymph node-targeting vaccines for a range of aggressive cancers and infectious diseases.
Elicio began dosing subjects in AMPLIFY-201, its Phase 1/2 clinical trial in subjects with solid tumors for its lead amphiphile vaccine, ELI-002, targeting KRAS-induced cancers in October 2021. The Amphiphile Platform originated from the laboratories of Darrell Irvine, Howard Hughes Research Fellow and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. For more information, visit https://elicio.com/.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from historical results or any future results, performance or achievements expressed, implied or implied by these forward-looking statements. – look at the statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our expectation to expand our pipeline by developing ELI-007 and ELI-008 to target BRAF V600E mutations and mutations in p53, our belief that the AMP strategy is perfectly suited to enhance tumor-specific immunity with the potential to eradicate tumors and promote long-lasting patient responses, our expectation that GIRF support will present a great opportunity to work together to improve patient outcomes, our belief that Elicio’s AMP platform has the potential to amplify the number of T cells and expand their function and the expectation that we push the boundaries of therapeutic cancer vaccine development. Applicable risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from historical results or future results, performance or achievements expressed, implied or implied by our forward-looking statements include, among others: that our research do not provide our expected results, we identify serious side effects or other safety issues, we do not have a clinical supply of our product candidate that is adequate in quantity and quality and provided in a timely manner, and risks inherent in clinical development; our limited operating history and historical losses; our need to raise capital to fund our research and development programs; the early-stage nature of our product candidates’ development; competition from various competitors in the markets targeted by our product candidates, including competitors with resources significantly superior to ours; our general reliance on third parties for manufacturing, clinical trials and preclinical studies; the potential complexity of the manufacturing process of our product candidates; our ability to protect our intellectual property; our reliance on patents that we license to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT; our compliance with health laws and regulations; and risks related to the impact of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases on our business. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect our current views regarding future events, and we do not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law.