Celyad Announces Exclusive Agreement for Horizon Discovery’s shRNA Platform to Develop Next-Generation Allogeneic CAR-T Therapies

In vivo study results to be presented at the 2018 SITC Annual Meeting

Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium – Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ: CYAD), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of specialized CAR-T cell-based therapies, today announced an exclusive agreement with Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD), for the use of its shRNA technology to generate Celyad’s second non-gene-edited allogeneic platform.
Celyad recently announced its first-in-class non-gene edited allogeneic CAR-T candidate, CYAD-101 a non-gene-edited allogeneic NKG2D-based CAR using the TIM (TCR Inhibiting Molecule).  As a result of the agreement with Horizon Discovery, Celyad now also has access to a novel shRNA-based platform.
Data from preclinical studies demonstrating the versatility of the shRNA platform in the allogeneic setting, will be presented at the upcoming 2018 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., November 7th – 11th. These promising preclinical data will pave the way for the next steps in the development of Celyad’s differentiated non-gene edited allogeneic approach to CAR-T cell therapy.
We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage Horizon’s shRNA platform to further advance our pioneering approach to non-gene edited allogeneic CAR-T cells”, said Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad. “Celyad is committed to rapidly advancing its allogeneic program based on highly promising preclinical data which will be presented at SITC. These data provide proof of concept for our shRNA based non-gene-edited allogeneic approach. In addition to very promising preclinical data, our allogeneic approach is also strengthened by Celyad’s strong patent estate in the U.S., which broadly covers the use of allogeneic CAR-T using cells that are TCR inhibited or suppressed by any means.”
Jon Moore, CSO of Horizon Discovery added: “The high performance shRNA technology licensed by Celyad is the same as that deployed in our range of SMARTvector products and is designed to deliver efficient target knock down with high specificity. Horizon’s collaboration with Celyad is designed to let Celyad find a highly effective solution for its needs. Horizon sees its shRNA technology as a serious rival to gene editing approaches for delivering enhanced performance to therapeutic cell products. We see enormous promise in cell therapies and are committed to develop and supply innovative technologies that allow our partners to bring transformative cell therapies to the clinic and fulfil unmet clinical needs.”

Shiwani Sharma

Shiwani Sharma was Senior Editor at PharmaShots. She has in-depth knowledge of the life sciences industry including the Pharma and Biotech sectors. Any articles written by her can be contacted at connect@pharmashots.com.

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