NEOGAP and Cellerys enter collaboration related to Phase II study of a new therapy for multiple sclerosis
PRESS RELEASE. NEOGAP Therapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focusing on immuno-oncology based at the Centre for Molecular Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and Cellerys, a Zurich-based company researching an innovative therapy to fight multiple sclerosis (MS), have entered a collaboration.
Cellerys will use NEOGAP’s patented EpiTCer® technology in its upcoming Phase II study of a new type of cell therapy aimed at inducing antigen-specific immune tolerance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). NEOGAP EpiTCer® technology will help detect rare autoreactive T cells in the patients, using them as biomarkers to study if and when patients develop tolerance.
The EpiTCer® technology has been developed by associate Professor Hans Grönlund, CSO and founder of NEOGAP. Together with researchers at Karolinska Institutet, he has authored several articles demonstrating the use of EpiTCer® beads for sensitive T cell antigen specificity detection, highlighted in a study identifying four novel autoantigens in multiple sclerosis, published in Science Advances: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abn1823.
“We are thrilled to contribute to and be a part of Cellerys upcoming Phase II study, where EpiTCer® will be a key aspect in monitoring autoreactive T cells. The collaboration with Cellerys opens up opportunities for NEOGAP to use our technology platform in several disease fields, including autoimmune diseases and other immune-related conditions. Our goal is to continue to develop innovative applications for EpiTCer® and contribute to the development of new therapies for the treatment of severe diseases,” says Samuel Svensson, CEO of NEOGAP.
Cellerys’ therapy RED4MS is a highly innovative approach to fight MS. It has been developed over the past decade and has successfully passed Phase Ib clinical testing. Cellerys is preparing a multi-center Phase IIa trial as the next important milestone to bring RED4MS to patients. The objective of the trial is to demonstrate proof of concept, and NEOGAP is producing EpiTCer® beads for the analysis of the study results.
“We are pleased to have found a partner in NEOGAP to support the mechanistic studies of our upcoming Phase II trial,” says Roland Martin, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Cellerys.
EpiTCer® is a method used to present antigens to T cells that recognise and target selected target proteins. In this technique, tiny beads are used to attach proteins, such as antigens involved in autoimmune diseases. The EpiTCer® beads are ideal targets for phagocytosis by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as macrophages or dendritic cells. The APCs efficiently present the antigen on their surface and activate T cells that recognise them. In the context of the Cellerys trial, they will be used to detect and count rare autoreactive T cells before and after tolerisation.
For more information, please contact:
Samuel Svensson, CEO
Phone: +46 733 54 21 94
About NEOGAP Therapeutics
NEOGAP Therapeutics is a Swedish biotechnology company focused on developing personalised cancer immunotherapy using the patient’s cells. The therapy is based on the company’s two technologies, PIOR® and EpiTCer®. PIOR® is sophisticated software that uses DNA sequencing data from the patient and machine learning algorithms to select tumour-specific mutations. Then, EpiTCer® is used to multiply T cells that can recognise and attack the selected tumour-specific targets. NEOGAP is located at the Center for Molecular Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. To learn more about NEOGAP and its cutting-edge research, please visit the company’s website at neogap.se and follow NEOGAP on LinkedIn.
Cellerys was founded in 2015 as a spin-out from the University of Zurich. The company is developing a cell therapy with the goal of inducing antigen-specific immune tolerance in MS patients. In the therapy, patient red blood cells are coupled ex vivo with peptides representing the major target antigens in MS. After reinfusion, the coupled cells undergo natural cell death in the body and are presented to the immune system in a tolerogenic manner in the liver and spleen. The therapy was shown to be safe and well tolerated in a successful Phase I study. To learn more about Cellerys, please visit the company’s website at cellerys.com.
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