LONDON, Oct. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achilles Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ACHL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision T cell therapies to treat solid tumors, today delivered an oral presentation (OR54) at the 2021 European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) Congress. In the presentation entitled ‘Multicentre, prospective research protocol for development of a clonal neoantigen-reactive T cell (cNeT) therapy pipeline across multiple tumour types,’ Dr. Michael Grant, Associate Medical Director at Achilles, reviewed initial data from the Company’s Material Acquisition Platform (MAP) showing that Achilles’ proprietary VELOS™ manufacturing process is able to extract tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and generate potent clonal neoantigen-reactive T cells (cNeT) across a range of solid tumor types. cNeT target clonal neoantigens, which are unique proteins expressed on every cancer cell within a patient but not on healthy tissue.
MAP is a unique prospective study that facilitates the procurement of patient material across a range of solid tumor types, enabling a comprehensive evaluation of indications prior to clinical development. MAP was developed to enable the detailed genomic and cellular characterization of different cancer tissue types and assess the ability to produce significant doses of potent cNeT. The study is currently collecting patient material at eight sites in the United Kingdom, European Union, and United States from patients with a range of cancers including lung, melanoma, head and neck, renal, bladder and breast cancer.
“This important research shows that our bioinformatics and manufacturing processes together produce fit, potent and neoantigen-specific cells and supports the potential use of our cNeT in a broad range of solid tumor indications beyond our current clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and metastatic melanoma, and into indications including head and neck cancer,” said Dr Sergio Quezada, Chief Scientific Officer of Achilles. “MAP showcases the analytical strength of the Achilles platform, delivers vital translational science insights, and highlights our organizational and supply chain expertise. It has been extremely successful in accumulating a broad set of tumor-related material and continues to expand into new countries and indications.”
Data presented show that the VELOS manufacturing process delivers higher neoantigen-specificity and potency, in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activity, relative to traditionally manufactured TIL products from the same tumor source material. These enhancements can be seen in specificity and potency assays in which IFN-γ and TNF-α cytokine secretion and production of inflammatory cytokines is triggered in response to clonal neoantigen presentation. Additionally, analysis of CD4+ and CD8+ cells in cNeT products shows favorable cell phenotypes consistent with high cell fitness and reduced cell exhaustion. At the time of submission, 74 patient samples had been processed across five solid tumor indications. The proprietary PELEUSTM platform identified a median of 107 clonal neoantigens in NSCLC samples, 156 in melanoma samples, and 71 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma samples, consistent with publicly available data sets, illustrating the accuracy of the platform. Additional data for renal and bladder tumor samples were still in process at the time of submission.
The presentation delivered by Dr. Grant is available in the Events & Presentations section of the Achilles Therapeutics website.
About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to the individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. The Company has two ongoing Phase I/IIa trials, the CHIRON trial in patients with unresectable locally advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the THETIS trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with its proprietary PELEUS™ bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient, and then develop precision T cell-based product candidates specifically targeting those clonal neoantigens.
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