Elicio Therapeutics, a next-generation immuno-oncology company, announced that it has established a collaboration with the Moffitt Cancer Center to characterize combination therapies pairing Elicio’s CD19 Amphiphile and a universal FITC Amphiphile with CD19 CAR T cells. The research will be led by Marco Davila, M.D., a Ph.D. associate member of the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapies Department and Medical Director of Cell Therapies at Moffitt.
“Despite high initial response rates, patients with B-cell malignancies have limited durable long-term disease control,” said Christopher Haqq, M.D., Ph.D., Elicio’s Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer. “We are excited to work with Dr Davila, a pioneer and expert in cell therapy for hematologic malignancies, to study the pharmacology of the combination of AMP-CD19 with CD19 CAR T cells. Dr Davila’s laboratory is uniquely positioned to evaluate lymph node targeted immunotherapy since his team evaluates CD19+ malignancies in mice with a normal immune system and normal lymph nodes, a great advantage over more common mouse models conducted in immunosuppressed mice. Positive results would set the stage for clinical trials combining AMP-CD19 with marketed CD19 CAR T cells to increase response rate and durability.”
“Our research, as well as research by other groups, suggest one avenue for improving outcomes for lymphoma patients treated with gene-engineered T cells is to combine this therapy with other agents to enhance response. We believe the highly novel AMP vaccine holds great promise as a combination to increase the efficacy of T cells targeted to B cell malignancies and look forward to developing and evaluating this therapy at Moffitt,” said Dr Davila.
The AMP-CD19 is a CAR binding peptide modified to traffic into lymph nodes for display on native immune cells. AMP-CD19 can activate engineered T cells, enhance their persistence, and proliferation, as well as enhance their activity in the treatment of B-cell malignancies including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL).
The AMP modification reprograms the biodistribution of peptides by the addition of an albumin-binding and cell membrane insertion domain, which results in improved trafficking into lymph nodes where dendritic cells take in the peptides and present them to the CAR T receptors on the surface of T cells.
Elicio is broadly developing AMP technologies, with ELI-002 targeting solid tumours with mutated KRAS in oncology, the universal adjuvant ELI-004 (AMP-CpG) enhancing efficacy across oncology and infectious disease applications, and discovery programs identifying solid tumour AMP CAR T combinations. In addition, the combination of both Elicio’s Amphiphiles (AMPs) with CAR-Ts led to the synergy that enhanced solid tumour CAR T therapy in mice.