Celyad Oncology has implemented a strategic shift from an organization focused on clinical development to one fully harnessing the true potential of its proprietary technology platforms and intellectual property
- The company is now prioritizing internal discovery endeavors to tackle the major current limitations of CAR T-cell therapies
- As of December 31, 2022, the Company ended the year with an unaudited treasury position of €12.4 million ($13.3 million)
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium – Celyad Oncology (Euronext & Nasdaq: CYAD) (the “Company”), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of innovative technologies for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, today provides a fourth quarter 2022 business update and an outlook for 2023.
Michel Lussier, interim Chief Executive Officer of Celyad Oncology, said: “The second half of 2022 has been a pivotal time for the Company as we have engaged in a new Celyad 2.0 strategy to leverage our innovative technologies and R&D platforms and focus on IP partnering transactions. We’ve stretched our cash runway by divesting our manufacturing business unit, and discontinued our clinical programs to focus on selected, critical R&D efforts to mitigate the current limitations of CAR T-cell therapy. We believe we are now well-positioned to unleash the power of our IP estate and to help making the cell therapy approach a success.”
- The Company announced a strategic shift in October 2022 to prioritize discovery research in areas of expertise where it can leverage the differentiated nature of its platforms. The Company has implemented a differentiated and innovative strategy, which it believes has the potential to tackle the major current limitations of CAR T-cell therapies. This strategy includes a multiplexing approach of the short hairpin RNA (shRNA) platform, a dual CAR development of a next-generation NKG2D-based CAR, and the development of B7-H6-targeting immunotherapies.
- In October 2022, the Company decided to discontinue the development of CYAD-101, the allogeneic TIM-based, NKG2D-based CAR T-cell candidate for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), based on a strategic, financial and medical review, taking into account the costs associated with the pursuit of the program. There were no new safety concerns leading to this decision. The clinical hold announced in March 2022 on the CYAD-101-002 Phase 1b trial had been lifted in July 2022 by the FDA.
- Data collected in the IMMUNICY-1 trial of the clinical program CYAD-211, the allogeneic shRNA-based, anti-BCMA CAR T candidate for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (r/r MM), which was developed to validate shRNA technology in the clinic, have shown a favorable safety profile for CYAD-211 across all dose-levels and cohorts, with 19 patients treated in total. The lack of observed graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) despite engraftment of CYAD-211 provided proof-of-concept for the use of shRNA as a technology to control GvHD of allogeneic CAR T-cells.
- In December 2022, the Company decided to discontinue the development of its remaining clinical program CYAD-211 based on a strategic and financial review. There were no safety concerns leading to this decision and all patients previously treated with CYAD-211 still continue to receive their protocol-defined follow-up.
- In September 2022, the Company entered into a €6 million asset purchase agreement with Cellistic, the cell therapy development and manufacturing business of Ncardia BV, whereby Cellistic acquired Celyad Oncology’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) grade cell therapy manufacturing business unit.
- Since October 2022, the Company has implemented a strategic shift from an organization focused on clinical development to one prioritizing R&D discovery and leveraging its IP estate through partnerships, collaborations and license agreements. The Company has compiled a foundational and broad IP estate that controls key aspects of developing therapies in the allogeneic cell therapy space. The patents around allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies and NKG2D-based therapies provide an avenue to develop intellectual property programs and to partner with outside parties around the licensing of these patents.
As of December 31, 2022, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of €12.4 million ($13.3 million). Net cash burn during the fourth quarter of 2022 amounted to €1.0 million, in line with expectations. The Company projects that its existing cash and cash equivalents should be sufficient to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into the fourth quarter of 2023.
After due consideration of detailed budgets and estimated cash flow forecasts for the year 2023, which reflect the new strategy of the Company and include expenses and cash outflows estimations in relation to the development of its proprietary technology platforms and intellectual property, the Company continues to project that its existing cash and cash equivalents will not be sufficient to fund its estimated operating and capital expenditures over at least the next 12 months from the date that this release is issued.
Outlook for 2023
- Celyad Oncology is increasing its R&D efforts on areas of expertise where it believes it can leverage the differentiated nature of its platform technology and continue to bolster its IP estate. The Company will continue to leverage the dynamic potential of the shRNA platform, and to explore options to tackle the major current limitations of CAR T-cell therapies through its dual targeting CARs with NKG2D capabilities and B7-H6 targeting cell therapies.
- The Company will provide updates on the potential proof-of-concept of the dual CAR and multiplexing research programs and on business development in the course of 2023 and will take part in several conferences to share these data.
Financial Calendar 2023
|March 23rd, 2023||Full Year 2022 Financial Results|
|May 5th, 2023||First Quarter 2023 Business Update|
|May 5th, 2023||Annual shareholders meeting|
|August 3rd, 2023||First Half 2023 Interim Results|
|November 9th, 2023||Third Quarter 2023 Business Update|
The financial calendar is communicated on an indicative basis and may be subject to change.