March 18, 2020, New York and Jerusalem – Yissum, the technology transfer company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Cytovia Therapeutics, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of immunotherapies targeting Natural Killer (NK) cells, announced today a strategic collaboration in the development of precision medicines for both blood cancers and solid tumors. Under the collaboration, Cytovia will sponsor a research program for the development of multi-specific antibodies targeting both NK cells and the tumor antigen. The research will be led by Prof. Ofer Mandelboim from the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research at the Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University.
Most current cancer immunotherapies target T-Cells, an extremely effective but sometimes toxic solution to the patient. Prof. Ofer Mandelboim’s research focuses on natural killer (NK) cells, an important part of the body’s immuno-surveillance system, with an ability to recognize and kill cancerous cells and viruses. Unlike Tcells, NK treatments offer the potential for an effective yet safer treatment option. Through his research, Prof. Mandelboim’s team has recently demonstrated that the NK activating receptor, NKp46, influences the FN1 expression by tumors, ultimately affecting its metastatic ability (Glasner et al. Immunity 2018).
Dr. Daniel Teper, Chairman and CEO of Cytovia said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Professor Mandelboim, one of the foremost experts on natural killer (NK) cells, a first line of defense against cancer and viral infections. The NKp46 antibodies developed at the Hebrew University will be incorporated in our NK engager platform supporting the development of multiple novel therapeutic candidates for both hematological and solid tumors. This partnership positions Cytovia as an innovation leader in the rapidly growing field of NK engagers. We believe the potential for effective treatment is great.”
Prof. Mandelboim commented: “NKp46 is a major engager of NK cells including infiltrating cells in solid tumors. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that these multifunctional engagers have the potential for better tumor control without hurting the healthy cells. For patients and doctors alike, this precision medicine could become the optimal way to treat cancer.”
Cytovia is dedicated to the development of transformational cancer immunotherapies, addressing several of the most challenging unmet medical needs including the prevention of cancer relapse and metastasis. Cytovia focuses on Natural Killer (NK) cell biology and applies precision medicine tools to develop the right therapy for the right patient at the right stage of the disease. Cytovia has secured access to multiple advanced technologies, including allogeneic cell therapy, multispecific antibodies, and cytokines. Cytovia establishes development partnerships to accelerate time-tomarket and commercialization alliances in order to optimize rapid adoption of its novel immunotherapies. Learn more at www.cytoviatx.com
Yissum is the technology transfer company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Founded in 1964, it serves as a bridge between cutting-edge academic research and a global community of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry. Yissum’s mission is to benefit society by converting extraordinary innovations and transformational technologies into commercial solutions that address our most urgent global challenges. Yissum has registered over 10,750+ patents globally; licensed over 1050+ technologies and has spun out more than 170 companies. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Boston Scientific, Google, ICL, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Microsoft, Novartis and many more. For further information please visit www.yissum.co.il