Lyerly, Hartman Spinout Collaborates to Combat Infectious Diseases and Cancers
PRESS RELEASE from Replicate Bioscience & Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (June 24, 2020)
Replicate Bioscience and Immunomic Therapeutics Form Collaboration to Combat Infectious Diseases and Cancers
Immunomic to invest in Replicate’s seed round; funding will enable Replicate to accelerate self-replicating RNA technology and grow operations
Replicate Bioscience, Inc. (“Replicate”), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company creating novel treatments to prevent drug resistance in cancers, and Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”), a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today that the companies have entered into a research and licensing option agreement to combine their platform technologies to combat infectious diseases and cancers.
ITI and Replicate will develop candidates combining ITI’s UNITE technology with Replicate’s scalable self-replicating RNA (SynRGY technology) for COVID-19, HPV, and EBV. Through the collaboration, ITI will be responsible for all development costs and ITI will also invest in Replicate Bioscience. As part of the investment, ITI’s Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Teri Heiland, will be appointed to Replicate’s Scientific Advisory Board.
“We are excited to partner with Replicate and invest in their seed round as the first strategic shareholder of the company. They have an impressive team with a wealth of expertise in RNA therapeutics and immuno-oncology and we believe that their SynRGY technology is a next-generation solution for combatting drug resistance in cancer,” said Dr. William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. “Through this collaboration, we look forward to combining SynRGY with our UNITE platform in infectious disease development programs, including those useful in cancers.”
“Ninety-percent of cancer related deaths are a direct result of drug resistance caused by the evolution of the tumor over time. Developing treatments for drug resistance that are deployable at earlier stages of care is a critical unmet need. Alongside their investment, the Immunomic Therapeutics team brings immense value in supporting the development of our internal wholly-owned immuno-oncology candidates. In addition, their team is ideally suited to clinically advancing our joint candidates,” said Dr. Nathaniel Wang, CEO of Replicate Bioscience. “Through this partnership, we are excited to rapidly advance candidates into the clinic for COVID-19 and infectious diseases that lead to the development and progression of various cancers.”
ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, works by fusing pathogenic antigens with the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans, for immune processing. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory. This approach could put UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. UNITE is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of UNITE in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for UNITE therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.
About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held, clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of vaccines through its proprietary technology platform, UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression (UNITE), which is designed to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop vaccines that generate broad immune responses. UNITE has a robust history of applications in various therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, oncology, allergy and autoimmune diseases. ITI is primarily focused on applying the UNITE platform to oncology, where it could potentially have broad applications, including viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens and antigen-derived antibodies as biologics. The Company has built a large pipeline from UNITE with six oncology programs and two allergy programs. ITI has entered into a significant allergy partnership with Astellas Pharma and has formed several academic collaborations with leading Immuno-oncology researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, and Duke University. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com.
About Replicate Bioscience
Replicate Bioscience, Inc. (Replicate) is a privately-held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating novel oncology treatments to prevent drug resistance. By deploying its SynRGY technology, Replicate aims to create solutions that enhance the effectiveness of many immuno-oncology regimens in early stages of care. Replicate is a Duke University spinout of tumor resistance-targeting technology from faculty members H. Kim Lyerly and Zachary Hartman and is developing its own pipeline of immuno-oncology products in breast, lung, and prostate cancers. Replicate aims to maximize the potential of its SynRGY platform through partnerships in infectious diseases. Replicate has entered into strategic collaborations with Immunomic Therapeutics and Duke University. Replicate maintains its headquarters in San Diego, CA as part of the BioLab community of companies. For more information, please visit www.replicatebioscience.com.