By Jeremy Golden, Benzinga
Elicio Therapeutics Inc. (NYSE: ELTX) is using precision vaccines, immunomodulators and cell-based therapies to assemble cancer-killing immune responses against both blood and solid tumors. Founded in 2011, the company has developed an innovative pipeline of cancer immunotherapies addressing critical unmet needs.
Three vaccine candidates are currently in Elicio Therapeutics pipeline: ELI-002, ELI-007 and ELI-008.
ELI-002 is Elicios lead clinical program for Kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS) driven cancers caused by a mutation of the KRAS gene. Designed to stimulate an immune response against the seven KRAS mutations driving 25% of solid tumors, ELI-002 is currently being studied in AMPLIFY-201, a phase 1 dose-escalation study.
A structurally novel Amphiphilic (AMP) therapeutic vaccine, ELI-002 is comprised of AMP-modified mutant KRAS peptide antigens and ELI-004, an AMP-modified immune-stimulatory oligonucleotide CpG adjuvant. The AMP mKRAS peptides and AMP CpG are targeted to the lymph node, with the goal of enhancing the action of key immune cells.
A new formulation, ELI-002 7P, is currently being studied in AMPLIFY-7P, a phase 1/2 trial in patients with high relapse risk mKRAS-driven solid tumors. The ELI-002 7P formulation is designed to provide immune response coverage against seven of the most common KRAS mutations. This is increasing the prospective patient population for ELI-002 while potentially reducing the chance of bypass resistance mechanisms.
Elicio Therapeutics product candidate for BRAF-driven cancers, ELI-007 is a multivalent lymph node-targeted AMP-peptide vaccine directed at BRAF V600E mutations, which are present in 40% of melanoma, 10% of colon cancer and 2% of lung cancer diagnoses.
Present-day small molecule inhibitors generate initial responses in BRAF V600E-mutated melanoma. These responses, however, are not sustained because of resistance due to alternative growth signaling pathways and the fact that few initial responses occur in BRAF-mutated colon cancer.
ELI-007 draws on previous research and pre-clinical trial data that has shown that T cells can respond to the driver mutation V600E in BRAF.
The transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes that recognize mutated BRAF resulted in a durable complete response in a recent case study. The fact that the protein expression of BRAF V600E is maintained at high levels in these tumors suggests that they would be susceptible to T cells that are specific for the mutated BRAF.
Like the KRAS mutations causing the type of cancer that ELI-002 aims to combat, mutations in p53 are found in a large number and wide variety of cancers, accounting for approximately 60% of patients with solid tumors.
An AMP-peptide vaccine targeting p53 hotspot mutations could potentially expand and mature tumor-specific T cells through enhanced delivery and immune stimulation in draining lymph nodes to generate tumor-specific immunity capable of eliminating tumor tissue.
That is the approach of ELI-008, which stands out as a multivalent lymph node-targeted AMP-peptide vaccine directed at p53 hotspot mutations. ELI-008 is being developed to target hotspot mutations in p53 in solid tumors including colorectal cancer, melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Elicio Therapeutics is leading the charge toward treating cancer through vaccination. By combining expertise in immunology and immunotherapy, Elicio is precisely targeting and fully engaging the lymph nodes, the site in our bodies where the immune response to cancer is orchestrated.
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