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Imugene (ASX:IMU) - CEO, Leslie Chong
CEO, Leslie Chong
Source: Imugene
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  • Imugene (IMU) teams up with US-based Eureka Therapeutics to test a combination of clinical treatments against solid tumours
  • Imugene will combine its onCARlytics technology with Eureka’s ARTEMIS T-cell therapy and test the products’ ability to treat solid tumours
  • The two treatments are designed to work together to identify tumours, then destroy them
  • Imugene’s Managing Director and CEO Leslie Chong says the two treatments have the potential to shift the “cellular medicine paradigm” for treating solid tumours
  • Shares in Imugene are up 6.06 and trading at 52 cents each at 10:20 am AEDT

Anti-cancer company Imugene (IMU) has teamed up with US-based Eureka Therapeutics to test a combination of clinical treatments against solid tumours.

News of the collaboration has seen Imugene’s share price spike in early trade this morning.

Imugene will combine its onCARlytics technology with Eureka’s ARTEMIS T-cell therapy and test the products’ ability to treat solid tumours.

The two treatments are designed to work together to identify tumours, then destroy them.

Under Imugene’s treatment, a virus enters tumour cells and forces them to express a protein known as CD19 on the cell surface. Eureka’s treatment, on the other hand, is designed to single out, pursue, and then kill CD19-producing cells.

According to Imugene, an animal trial completed at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in California successfully killed solid tumours in mice using CAR-T therapy, like Eureka’s, in combination with an oncolytic virus, like Imugene’s.

Imugene Managing Director and CEO Leslie Chong said while T-cell and CAR-T therapies have proven effective against blood cancers, they have not achieved much success in solid tumours, partly because of a lack of tumour-specific targets.

“By using our proprietary oncolytic technology to force the tumour to express the CD19 target, we now have the ability to address this shortcoming,” Ms Chong said.

“We believe the synergy between our onCARlytics platform and Eureka’s anti-CD19 ARTEMIS T-cells has the potential to shift the cellular medicine paradigm in treating solid tumours.”

Eureka Therapeutics President and CEO Cheng Liu said the company was “delighted” to be working with Imugene.

“We believe our ARTEMIS T-cell platform to be the ideal one to evaluate this combination,” Dr Liu said.

“In head-to-head pre-clinical studies against CAR-T cells, our ARTEMIS T-cells demonstrated superior efficacy, enhanced tumour infiltration, and less T-cell exhaustion.

“In the clinical context, our ARTEMIS T-cells have demonstrated reduced
cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and other cytokine-related toxicities compared to CAR-T cells, potentially improving the efficacy and safety of a combination approach.”

Shares in Imugene were up 6.06 and trading at 52 cents each at 10:20 am AEDT. The company has a $1.93 billion market cap.

IMU by the numbers
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