- Publication of data detailing the development of our microRNA (miRNA)-based multiplex shRNA approach, which allows to down-regulate several genes simultaneously, in Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids
- Five posters were presented at the 38th SITC Annual Meeting and two posters were presented at the 4th ICLE conference, with further developments in our multiplex shRNA platform and encouraging data from our NKG2D-based multi-specific CAR T-cell platform
- Celyad Oncology has received approximately EUR 9.8m in private placement commitments from historical shareholders
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, November 9, 2023, 07:00 am CET; regulated information – Celyad Oncology (Euronext: CYAD) (the “Company” or “Celyad Oncology”), a biotechnology company focused on innovative technologies for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, today reports its financial results for the third quarter of 2023 and provides an update on recent business developments.
“ Celyad Oncology team is resolutely dedicated to harnessing our expertise, extensive know-how, and valuable intellectual property portfolio to address the existing challenges within CAR T-cell therapies. We are excited to report compelling data from our short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-based multiplexing platform, underscoring the remarkable versatility and adaptability of this technology. In addition, we are making significant progress with our multispecific CAR program, and we look forward to sharing an update at international conferences in the coming months. These achievements mark our commitment to advancing the frontiers of cellular immunotherapy and bringing innovative solutions to patients in need ” commented Georges Rawadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Third quarter 2023 and recent corporate highlights:
- On August 24, 2023, the Company announced that it has obtained commitments from Fortress, Tolefi and other longstanding existing shareholders to subscribe to a capital increase of up to €9.8 million in 2 tranches:
- A first tranche of 2.0 million was disbursed in the context of authorized capital as of September 4, 2023; and
- A second tranche to be subscribed by Fortress is subject to the approval by the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting. Following this private placement, the Company believes that its existing cash and cash equivalents should be sufficient, based on the current scope of activities, to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into the second quarter of 2025.
- Celyad Oncology has relocated from September 25, 2023 into a new research facility which fits better its current needs after the strategic shift. The Company remains headquartered at the Axis Parc, Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium but with its new business location at Dumont 9.
- shRNA multiplexing platform:
- Data validating our microRNA (miRNA)-based multiplex shRNA approach, which allows to down-regulate several genes simultaneously, were presented at the 4th International Conference on Lymphocyte Engineering (ICLE) in Munich (September 12-14) and at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in San Diego (November 1-5) and posters are available on the company’s website, at https://celyad.com/our-science-technology/publications/;
- With our approach we proved the feasibility of the simultaneous knock-down of 4 co-inhibitory receptors (PD-1, LAG-3, TIM-3 and CD95) to decrease the expression of exhaustion markers at the surface of CAR T-cells and the feasibility of this approach to improve allogeneic CAR T-cell viability by allowing evasion from graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), host-versus-graft (HvG) reaction and CD95L-induced autophagy.
- The results detailing the technical aspects of the development of this platform and showcasing the easiness, efficiency, and tunability of this technology to knock-down up to four target genes simultaneously have been published in Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids as of September 20.
- NKG2D-based CAR T-cells:
- We have developed different CD19/NKG2DL, BCMA/NKG2DL and PSMA/NKG2DL multi-specific CAR T-cells, utilizing both tandem constructs – that encompass the extracellular domain of the natural NKG2D receptor fused to a scFv targeting CD19, BCMA or PSMA, or dual constructs – that co-express the NKG2D-based CAR with an anti-CD19, anti-BCMA or anti-PSMA CAR, respectively;
- Our data provides the proof-of-concept that NKG2DL are valuable targets in a multispecific CAR approach;
- Specifically, we showed that CD19/NKG2DL multispecific CAR T-cells, and in particular dual receptors, are highly effective in vitro against CD19+ and CD19- cell lines and against CD19+ primary B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) cells. In vivo, CD19/NKG2DL tandem CAR T-cells outperforms dual CAR T-cells in controlling tumor growth in an aggressive B-ALL relapse model.
- In vitro data generated with BCMA/NKG2DL and PSMA/NKG2DL multispecific CAR T-cells further validate this approach and its application in other hematological and solid indications.
- Preliminary data were presented at the 4th ICLE conference in Munich (September 12-14) and at the 38th SITC meeting in San Diego (November 1-5) and posters are available on the company’s website, at https://celyad.com/our-science-technology/publications/.
Financial highlights – Third quarter 2023 financial review
As of September 30, 2023, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of €2.3 million. Net cash burn during the third quarter of 2023 amounted to €2.7 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 first quarter of 2024.
After due consideration of detailed budgets and estimated cash flow forecasts for the years 2023 and 2024, 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.
On August 24, 2023, the Company announced that it has obtained commitments from Fortress, Tolefi and other longstanding existing shareholders to subscribe to a capital increase of up to €9.8 million (whose €2.0 million related to the first tranche has been already proceeded as of September 4, 2023). Taking into account the Management’s assumptions regarding estimated cash-flows for the years 2023, 2024 and 2025, the Company believes that following the close of the second tranche subscribed by Fortress which is subject to approval by the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, its existing cash and cash equivalents should be sufficient, based on the current scope of activities, to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into the second quarter of 2025.
Upcoming Anticipated Milestones
- More data and evidence in the context of the multi-specific CAR platform and shRNA multiplexing approach will be shared in the first quarter of 2024, with the aim of a clinical evaluation of assets and initiation of clinical trials either by the Company and/or through strategic partnerships afterwards.
- Celyad Oncology will attend the 7th CAR-TCR Europe summit in London, UK (February 27-29, 2024), the must-attend forum to brainstorm advanced in cell therapies and stay at the forefront of cell therapy innovations.