NEW YORK & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Treadwell Therapeutics today announced the acquisition of TCRyption Inc., a company focusing on novel approaches to TCR based T cell therapy and a TIO Bioventures portfolio company. The stock swap brings the unique and powerful TCRypt platform technology as well as a large number of TCR candidates with potential anti-cancer utility into Treadwell’s growing and highly productive R&D organization. The platform can be used to identify TCRs recognizing a diverse array of epitopes regardless of haplotype with unmatched sensitivity and speed. Treadwell scientists will leverage the technology to build a large bank of TCRs recognizing a variety of epitopes. Initial clinical studies of TCRs from the bank could commence in early 2023.
Currently available approaches of autologous TCR-based cell therapy focus on TCRs recognizing HLA-A2 restricted epitopes, alleles well represented in Caucasian populations. Although durable remissions have been observed in TCR-transgenic T cells that are HLA-A2 restricted, particularly those recognizing NY-ESO-1, inclusion criteria of HLA-A2 can limit patient enrolment and commercial opportunity. Using a diverse set of proprietary tools, the TCRypt platform allows for the identification of TCRs that are beyond HLA-A2 restricted and recognize a diverse set of class I and II alleles, including haplotypes that are highly prevalent in Asian populations.
TCRyption, Inc. was originally formed with an initial $10 million in seed financing from TIO Bioventures. The founders of TCRyption included visionary pioneers of T cell Biology, such as Drs. Mark Davis and Tak Mak, who co-discovered the T cell receptor, Dr. Naoto Hirano, who developed the TCRypt platform, and Dr. Pamela Ohashi. The Board of Directors and shareholders of Treadwell and TCRyption unanimously approved the combination.
“We’re excited to bring this unique technology into Treadwell’s diverse portfolio of first in class medicines,” said Dr. Michael Tusche, co-CEO of Treadwell Therapeutics. “We believe that the TCRypt platform will allow us to move beyond the narrow focus on HLA-A2 restricted epitopes, and greatly expand the patient populations that can be addressed by this approach. We hope to enter the clinic with several non-A2 restricted TCRs in different tumor types in early 2023.”
“By combining Treadwell with TCRyption, we expect to realize substantial operational efficiencies and better leverage our rapidly growing and talented global R&D organization,” added Dr. Shane Burgess, Treadwell Chairman and co-CEO.
About Treadwell Therapeutics
Treadwell Therapeutics is a science driven, clinical-stage multi-modality oncology company developing first-in-class and best-in-class medicines to address unmet needs in patients with cancer.
The Company’s robust, internally developed pipeline includes a first-in-class PLK4 kinase inhibitor, CFI-400945 and a best-in-class TTK inhibitor, CFI-402257, and CFI-402411, an oral immunomodulatory kinase inhibitor with activity toward HPK1 in Phase 1/2 studies. Treadwell also has a robust pre-clinical pipeline with multiple Biologic and next generation TCR based autologous cell therapy programs. For more information, please visit www.treadwelltx.com.
About TIO Bioventures
TIO Bioventures is a boutique venture creation firm focused on funding the advancement of innovative Healthcare companies that are guided by its principles of employing rigorous science to create first-in-class cancer medicines that improve outcomes and enhance quality of life for patients with unmet needs.