- Three main pillars to unlock the potential of proprietary technology platforms and intellectual property:
- A proprietary non-gene editing technology platform based on multiplexing of short hairpin ribonucleic acid (shRNAs)-derived sequences to broaden the capacities of CAR-Ts
- Differentiated targets to widen the range of indications and the development of multispecific CARs to overcome the main limitations of current CAR-T therapies
- A robust and broad Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium; January 16, 2024, 10:01 pm CET – Celyad Oncology (Euronext: CYAD) (the “Company”), today provides a fourth quarter 2023 business update and an outlook for 2024.
Michel Lussier, interim Chief Executive Officer of Celyad Oncology, commented: “2023 has been a very important year for Celyad Oncology, after the changes that occurred in 2022. Our research team has made a remarkable progress to broaden the range of cancer indications that could be targeted by chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells and to tackle the main limitations of current CAR T-cell therapies. We have shared new data at several scientific and business conferences along the year, and published in high impact peer-reviewed journals. We are eager to see the impact of our efforts to unleash the power of our IP estate and stay at the forefront of next-generation CAR T-cell development.”
2023 corporate accomplishments
- On August 24, 2023, the Company announced that it 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 subscribed by Fortress was approved by the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting of November 14, 2023. 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.
2023 operational highlights
- Multiplex short hairpin ribonucleic acid (shRNA) non-gene edited technology – All along 2023, we have collected and presented data validating our shRNA multiplexing approach:
- We developed a chimeric micro-RNA (miRNA) cluster to enable multiplexing of shRNAs, designed for easy, efficient, and tunable downregulation of up to four target genes simultaneously in CAR T-cells;
- Results detailing the technical aspects of the development of this platform have been published in Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids (Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2023, 34:102038). This publication has raised much interest from the community and was subjected to an editorial comment in the same volume of the Journal (Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2023, 34:102077);
- Additional data which demonstrate feasibility of this approach in the context of allogeneic cell therapies or with the aim to create therapies able to overcome the coinhibitory effects of exhaustion markers were presented at several scientific conferences. Posters are available on the company’s website, at https://celyad.com/our-science-technology/publications/.
- Multispecific NKG2D-based CAR T-cell platform – In 2023, we have compiled and presented data validating our multispecific approach targeting NKG2D ligands (NKG2DL):
- We have developed different CD19/NKG2DL, BCMA/NKG2DL and PSMA/NKG2DL multispecific 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 and demonstrate our CD19/NKG2DL multispecific CAR T-cells are highly effective to counteract relapses due to CD19 antigen loss in vivo. In vitro data generated with BCMA/NKG2DL and PSMA/NKG2DL multispecific CAR T-cells further validate this approach in other hematological and solid indications. Posters are available on the company’s website, at https://celyad.com/our-science-technology/publications/.
As of December 31, 2023, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of €3.0 million and short-term investments of €4.0 million. The Company projects that its existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments should be sufficient to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into the second quarter of 2025. Therefore, the Company continues to project that its existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund its estimated operating and capital expenditures over at least the next 12 months from the date of this press release.
Outlook for 2024
- More data and evidence in the context of the multispecific CAR T-cell platform and shRNA multiplexing approach will be shared in the first half of 2024, with the aim to develop assets ready for a potential 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 and stay at the forefront of cell therapy innovations.
Financial Calendar 2024
|April 5th, 2024
|Full Year 2023 Financial Results
|May 6th, 2024
|Annual shareholders meeting
|August 6th, 2024
|First Half 2024 Interim Results
The financial calendar is communicated on an indicative basis and may be subject to change.