Six months after raising a $30 million series A round, Elicio has added $33 million via its B round to begin Phase I/II testing of its KRAS-driven cancer vaccine ELI-002 and advance its other immunotherapies.
Elicio Therapeutics’ Amphiphile platform, which attaches antigens to an albumin-binding lipid tail for transport to lymph nodes, was developed by co-founder Darrell Irvine. Irvine is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of materials science and engineering and of biological engineering.
CEO Robert Connelly told BioCentury that the series B, led by new investor Livzon Pharmaceutical Group, was driven by Elicio’s preclinical data, investor interest in KRAS and the potential for a near-term clinical readout for ELI-002.
In August, Elicio presented preclinical data at the Immuno-Oncology Summit in Boston showing that ELI-002 generated immune responses against all common KRAS mutations, resulting in cytolytic activity against cells expressing the mutations. It plans to begin a controlled Phase I/II trial in 90 post-resection pancreatic cancer patients next half, with initial data due in 2H20.
The vaccine contains seven Amphiphile-modified peptides, each corresponding to the seven KRAS mutations driving the majority of KRAS-driven cancers. Connelly said that the most commonly targeted KRAS mutation, G12C, isn’t a major driver of pancreatic cancer. By immunizing against the seven KRAS mutations, ELI-002 could target the cancer’s existing mutation as well as prepare the immune system to respond to emergence of a new KRAS mutation.
ELI-002’s next indications are colorectal cancer, which Connelly said is proving to not be a G12C-driven cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer. See https://www.biocentury.com/bc-extra/financial-news/2019-10-02/elicio-advance-pancreatic-hpv-vaccines-car-t-booster-33m-b-round for full story