Bionaut Labs and Candel Therapeutics Announce Strategic Collaboration in Precision-Targeted Delivery of Oncolytic Viral Immunotherapies

  • Companies will work on preclinical development of remote-controlled microscale robots to deliver novel oncolytic viral immunotherapies in specific brain tumors

LOS ANGELES and NEEDHAM, Mass., Dec. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionaut Labs, a company focused on revolutionizing the treatment of central nervous system disorders (CNS) with its Bionaut™ precision medicine treatment modality, and Candel Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CADL), a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel oncolytic viral immunotherapies, today announced a strategic collaboration to investigate the use of Bionaut’s remote-controlled microscale robots for precision delivery of Candel’s oncolytic viral immunotherapy agents to specific brain tumors.

Bionaut Labs will apply its micro-robotic technology under the guidance of an integrated electro-magnetic control system to deliver Candel’s oncolytic viruses directly to brain tumors in a minimally invasive manner. The parties will jointly research the use of the Bionaut platform in the preclinical setting with an aim of advancing to clinical trials. The agreement enables both parties to retain unencumbered rights to their respective platforms, as well as rights for future clinical development together.

“With the goal of maximizing the benefit to patients, Candel continues to evaluate expansion of our clinically validated oncolytic viral immunotherapy approach into additional subsets of patients with high-grade glioma using novel methods, such as the Bionaut platform, to deliver our investigational medicines,” said Paul Peter Tak, MD, PhD, FMedSci, President and CEO of Candel Therapeutics. “We look forward to this collaboration with Bionaut Labs in the hope that it will ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients living with brain cancer.”

“Bionaut Labs is excited to partner with Candel, a leader in developing oncolytic viruses for multiple cancers, to advance much-needed treatment options for brain cancer patients leveraging our transformative Bionaut™ platform technology," said Michael Shpigelmacher, co-founder and CEO, Bionaut Labs. "The research we plan to jointly undertake validates our approach and will enable advancement of our technology as we continue our mission of helping patients suffering from debilitating brain diseases who lack effective treatments. We look forward to working with Candel, as this collaboration has the potential to re-envision the standard of care for high-grade gliomas and make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Bionaut™ Treatment

A Bionaut is a novel treatment modality that uses remote-controlled microscale robots to deliver biologics, nucleic acids, small molecule, gene or cellular therapies locally to targeted CNS disease areas. Through precise targeting, Bionaut™ therapeutics could offer better efficacy and safety that cannot be achieved by other traditional treatment or delivery modalities.

Bionauts can be constructed in different designs with custom geometries and surface characteristics. Smaller than a millimeter, they contain moving parts controlled remotely by a magnetic controller, allowing them to safely reach the target and release a therapeutic payload from the cargo compartment. Engineering flexibility provides a broad foundation for designing Bionaut therapies for nearly any disease of interest.

Bionaut Labs has demonstrated safe and controlled navigation of its therapeutic Bionaut to and from the treatment locus in the brain, in a large animal in vivo model. Furthermore, the Company has successfully treated human glioma tumors established in mice, utilizing guided delivery of therapeutic cargos directly into these tumors to eliminate systemic toxicity. These results pave the way to the clinical trials of the Bionaut platform.

About Bionaut Labs

Bionaut Labs is focused on revolutionizing the treatment of central nervous system disorders with its Bionaut precision medicine treatment modality that uses remote-controlled microscale robots to deliver biologics, nucleic acids, or small molecule therapies locally to targeted disease areas. With the Bionaut medical modality, Bionaut Labs can transform the way the biopharmaceutical industry develops treatments, allowing the Company to engineer the therapeutic index for better efficacy and safety. Led by a world-class team of medical, engineering, and drug development experts, Bionaut Labs’ is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with additional R&D sites in Israel and at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. For more information, please visit

About Candel Therapeutics

Candel is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on helping patients fight cancer with oncolytic viral immunotherapies. Candel’s engineered viruses are designed to induce immunogenic cell death through direct viral-mediated cytotoxicity in cancer cells, thus releasing tumor neo-antigens while creating a pro-inflammatory microenvironment at the site of injection. Candel has established two oncolytic viral immunotherapy platforms based on novel, genetically modified adenovirus and herpes simplex virus (HSV) constructs, respectively. CAN-2409 is the lead product candidate from the adenovirus platform and CAN-3110 is the lead product candidate from the HSV platform. The enLIGHTEN™ Discovery Platform is based on Candel’s HSV technology.

For more information about Candel, visit

Candel Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain disclosures that contain “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, express or implied statements regarding the timing and advancement of development programs, include key data readout milestones; expectations regarding the therapeutic benefit of its programs; and expectations regarding cash runway and expenditures. The words “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “target” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including, without limitation, those risks and uncertainties related to the timing and advancement of development programs; expectations regarding the therapeutic benefit of the Company’s programs; the Company’s ability to efficiently discover and develop product candidates; the Company’s ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of product candidates; the Company’s ability to maintain its intellectual property; the implementation of the Company’s business model, and strategic plans for the Company’s business and product candidates, and other risks identified in the Company’s SEC filings, including the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 12, 2021, and subsequent filings with the SEC. The Company cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release represent the Company’s views only as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date.

Candel Media Contact
Heidi Chokeir, PhD
Managing Director
Canale Communications

Candel Investor Contact
Sylvia Wheeler
Wheelhouse Life Science Advisors

Bionaut Media Contact
Greig Communications
Kathy Vincent

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