Zelluna Immunotherapy has announced the completion of a fundraise to fully focus on the development of its TCR guided Natural Killer (NK) cell therapy platform (TCR-NK) for the treatment of cancers.
A total of approximately EUR 7.5 million has been raised in equity financing and public grants.
Zelluna’s strategy is to concentrate on the development of TCR-NK cell therapy products based on its technology platform, where TCRs are functionally expressed in NK cells. The combination of the broad target range of TCRs with the inherent anti-tumor activity and allogeneic nature of NK cells could offer novel, safe, and effective “off the shelf” cell therapy treatments for solid cancer patients, states the company.
Full focus on TCR-NK products
In support of this strategy, Zelluna has recently announced the formation of partnerships with NK organizations, providing access to NK cells, manufacturing facilities and additional competency and expertise.
“Zelluna has taken an important step in fully focusing on pioneering TCR-NK products for the treatment of solid cancer patients. This funding will enable us to develop both Zelluna’s allogenic TCR-NK platform and novel TCR-NK products. The potential benefits of allogeneic products in manufacturing, scalability and immediate patient treatment have been recognized across the industry for some time,” says Namir Hassan, CEO, Zelluna Immunotherapy. “More recently, clinical data for CAR-NKs and TCR-Ts demonstrate the effectiveness of NK cells as “off-the-shelf” treatments and TCRs as successful solid tumor targeting mechanisms. Zelluna believes that its proprietary platform, combining TCRs with NKs may provide effective “off-the-shelf” treatment options for solid tumor patients. Working closely with world-class NK groups and organizations places Zelluna in a strong position to realize the potential of this novel treatment option for cancer patients.”
Zelluna aims to develop a number of allogeneic TCR-NK products for the treatment of solid cancers. Zelluna will secure new TCR targets through both internal development programs and in partnerships with other companies and groups, it states.
Photo of Namir Hassan: Stig Jarnes