Munich/Martinsried, Germany, November 10, 2021 – Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG (“Secarna”), a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of next-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies to address challenging or previously undruggable targets, today announced that the Company has entered into a research, option and license agreement with Achilles Therapeutics UK Limited (“Achilles”), a member of the Achilles Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ACHL) group of companies, in the field of immune oncology.
Secarna will employ its commercially validated discovery and development platform, LNAplus™, to generate ASO candidates against selected targets that potentially play a central role in the ex vivo optimization of personalized T cell therapies being developed by Achilles. Following in vitro testing performed by Secarna, Achilles will conduct production feasibility and optimization testing.
Under the terms of the agreement, Secarna will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, a target-based technology access fee as well as option exercise fees. Secarna is also eligible to receive development and commercial milestone payments as well as tiered royalties on net sales of personalized T cell therapies developed and commercialized under this collaboration.
“We are excited to collaborate with Achilles and jointly work on a highly innovative approach to optimize T cell therapies with our LNAplus™-based ASOs,” said Alexander Gebauer, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Secarna Pharmaceuticals. “By combining our industry-leading antisense oligonucleotide platform with Achilles’ expertise in the field of T cell therapies, we see the potential to break new ground in the treatment of cancer patients.”
About Secarna’s proprietary drug discovery platform, LNAplus™
Secarna’s proprietary, customized LNAplusTM platform is being applied to the discovery, testing and selection of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) for pre-clinical and clinical development. LNAplusTM encompasses all aspects of drug discovery and pre-clinical development and has proven to be fast, reliable, scalable and efficient, enabling the discovery of novel antisense-based therapies for challenging or currently undruggable targets. The platform includes the powerful proprietary OligofyerTM bioinformatics pipeline, a streamlined, high efficiency screening process, including Secarna’s proprietary LNA-Vit(r)oxTM safety test system, as well as target-specific functional assays. Secarna’s platform and ASOs have been validated by numerous in-house projects as well as in several academic and industry collaborations.
About Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Secarna Pharmaceuticals is the leading independent European next-generation antisense drug discovery and development company addressing high unmet medical needs in immuno-oncology and immunology, as well as viral, neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic diseases. Secarna’s mission is to maximize the performance and output of its proprietary LNAplus™ antisense oligonucleotide discovery platform, as well as to develop highly specific, safe, and efficacious best-in-class antisense therapies. With over 15 development programs, including both proprietary pipeline projects and partnered programs, Secarna focuses on targets in indications where antisense-based approaches have clear potential benefits over other therapeutic modalities. www.secarna.com
About Achilles Therapeutics plc
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.
Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Alexander Gebauer, MD, PhD
Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Am Klopferspitz 19
Tel.: +49 (0)89 215 46 375
Anne Hennecke/Vera Lang
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