Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium – Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ: CYAD), a leader in the discovery and development of engineered cell therapies today announced its selection by the Scientific Program Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to present its NKR-2 Phase I trial during the Developmental Therapeutics – Immunotherapy Science Poster session at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting.
Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad: “The ASCO Annual Meeting is one of the world’s most important congresses in the field of oncology. This will be a great opportunity, not only for the Company to demonstrate the clinical potential of its NKR-T program to the immuno-oncology community, but also to raise awareness of how this unique immunotherapy approach might change the course of cancer treatment.”
Dr. Frédéric Lehmann, Head of Immuno-Oncology at Celyad: “We are honoured that the Program Committee has selected Celyad to present at the Science Poster session at ASCO’s Annual Meeting. Our NKR-T program, which is now supported by a strong Scientific Advisory Board, is gaining more and more attention from the immuno-oncology scientific and clinical community.”
The Annual Meeting brings together 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world. Educational sessions feature world-renowned faculty discussing state-of-the-art treatment modalities, new therapies, and ongoing controversies in the field. Science sessions present the latest ground-breaking research in oral and poster format. The theme for ASCO 2016 is Collective Wisdom: The Future of Patient-Centered Care and Research. Spanning disciplines, disease sites, and treatment approaches, it is our combined knowledge that will shape the future of patient care and research. This event will take place from June 3-7, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago, USA.
About Celyad’s NKR-T program
NKR stands for Natural Killer Receptor. NKG2D CAR T-cells are now called NKR-2 T-cells and the product development name is NKR-2. Existing CAR-T cells are engineered using constructs encoding an antibody single chain variable fragment, the signalling domain of CD3 zeta and one or more co-stimulatory domain(s). Celyad’s lead immuno-oncology product candidate, NKR-2, is a T-Cell encoded to express the Natural Killer activating receptor, NKG2D. The technology developed by Celyad uses a human Natural Killer cell (NK cell) receptor which, unlike traditional CAR technologies has the potential to:
- Bind to 8 different ligands that are expressed by a vast majority of cancer cells, both hemaetological and solid malignancies.
- Target and kill tumors as well as the blood vessels that feed them and also express the ligands of the NKG2D receptor.
- Target and kill the inhibitory mechanisms preventing the tumor from evading the immune system.
- Induces adaptive auto-immune response thanks to the creation of a long term cell memory against the targeted tumor.
The research underlying this technology was originally conducted by Dartmouth College Professor Charles Sentman, and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed publications. NKR-2 has an active Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA for a Phase I clinical trial.. The full data readout from the Phase I dose escalation trial is expected in mid-2016. The trial is designed to assess the safety and feasibility of NKR-2 in acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma patients, with secondary endpoints including clinical activity. The safety follow-up period post-infusion has been decreased to 21 days after approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Institutional Review Board (IRB).