The collaboration will evaluate the ability of NeoImmuneTech’s immune cell amplifier NT-I7 to increase the number of azer-cel allogeneic CAR T cells per batch during manufacturing.
The combination potential of azer-cel and NT-I7 to increase the number and cancer-fighting properties of the patients own T cells during their treatment with azer-cel, will be evaluated in preclinical work.
Sydney, Australia December 12, 2023 AEDT and Rockville, MD (USA), December 11, 2023 EST: Imugene Ltd (“Imugene”) (ASX: IMU), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, and NeoImmuneTech, Inc. (“NIT”), (KOSDAQ: 950220) a clinical-stage T-cell-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced a strategic collaboration to evaluate Imugene’s allogeneic CAR T, azer-cel, in combination with NIT’s proprietary immune T cell amplifier “Fc-fused recombinant human interleukin-7”, NT-I7, for the treatment of cancer.
Azer-cel is an allogeneic CD19 CAR T cell therapy program with extensive clinical data and a potentially fast-to-market development strategy. Azer-cel has demonstrated clinically meaningful activity with an acceptable safety profile in blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.
NT-I7 (efineptakin alfa) is the only long-acting human IL-7 cytokine1 in clinical stage development. NT-I7 plays a key role in T cell development and survival, boosts cancer fighting T cell numbers, their health, and functionality to enhance immune function and potentially provides improved cancer fighting benefits to patients. NT-I7 exhibits favorable stability, activity and safety profiles on patient dosing compared with naturally occurring IL-7, making it an ideal combination partner for cell therapy drugs like azer-cel.
“We are delighted to be working with NIT on the potential to enhance azer-cel activity as part of this research collaboration,” said Leslie Chong, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Imugene.
Dr. Se Hwan Yang, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NeoImmuneTech said: “NT-I7 has already shown encouraging results in multiple indications in immuno-oncology and infectious diseases, both as a monotherapy or in combination. The research collaboration with Imugene, an industry leader in allogeneic cell therapy, could greatly expand the potential of our asset and accelerate its path to commercialization, as we did in acute radiation syndrome.”
The strategic collaboration is effective immediately and will continue for two years whilst there are relevant research activities being performed under the research plan. Such research activities will be performed exclusively in the United States. The strategic collaboration may be terminated upon completion of the research activities, by agreement, or according to common commercial termination provisions. Imugene will fund its component of the strategic collaboration by its existing planned research activities. No additional or new funding is required for the initial activities by Imugene for the strategic collaboration. The funding of Imugene research activities is material and is allowed for in the Company’s existing research budget.
Each party has full intellectual property (IP) rights (patents) to their individual background technology. In the event new IP is generated from the strategic collaboration (each a “Joint Collaboration Technology”), the parties shall discuss in good faith the filing, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement, defense of any patent applications relating thereto, as well as each party’s right to use, such Joint Collaboration Technology.
1 Cytokines are small proteins that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells. When released, they signal the immune system to do its job. Cytokines affect the growth of all blood cells and other cells that help the body's immune and inflammation responses.
About Imugene (ASX:IMU)
Imugene is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing a range of new and novel immunotherapies that seek to activate the immune system of cancer patients to treat and eradicate tumours. Our unique platform technologies seek to harness the body’s immune system against tumours, potentially achieving a similar or greater effect than synthetically manufactured monoclonal antibody and other immunotherapies. Our pipeline includes an off-the-shelf (allogeneic) cell therapy CAR T drug azer-cel (azercabtagene zapreleucel) which targets CD19 to treat blood cancers. Our pipeline also includes multiple immunotherapy B-cell vaccine candidates and an oncolytic virotherapy (CF33) aimed at treating a variety of cancers in combination with standard of care drugs and emerging immunotherapies such as CAR T’s for solid tumours. We are supported by a leading team of international cancer experts with extensive experience in developing new cancer therapies with many approved for sale and marketing for global markets.
Our vision is to help transform and improve the treatment of cancer and the lives of the millions of patients who need effective treatments. This vision is backed by a growing body of clinical evidence and peer-reviewed research. Imugene is well funded and resourced, to deliver on its commercial and clinical milestones. Together with leading specialists and medical professionals, we believe Imugene’s immuno-oncology therapies will become foundation treatments for cancer. Our goal is to ensure that Imugene and its shareholders are at the forefront of this rapidly growing global market.
About NeoImmuneTech, Inc.
NeoImmuneTech, Inc. (NIT) is a clinical-stage T cell-focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to expanding the horizon of immuno-oncology and enhancing immunity to infectious diseases. NIT is led by the scientific founder and inventor of NT-I7 (efineptakin alfa) and has a strong executive team with rich industry experience. NIT is expanding rapidly in personnel and operations, as well as partnering with industry and academic leaders to investigate NT-I7 as monotherapy and in combination with various immunotherapeutics. For more information, please visit www.neoimmunetech.com.