Evelo Biosciences Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent Supporting Monoclonal Microbial Oncology Trials
New patent covers the use of Bifidobacteria in combination with checkpoint inhibitors to treat cancer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Evelo Biosciences is developing monoclonal microbials, which are a new class of orally delivered, effective and safe medicines that act on the gut-immune axis to modulate immunity throughout the body to address a broad range of patient needs in oncology and inflammatory diseases. Evelo announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 9,855,302 covering Bifidobacteria for the treatment of cancer in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Evelo has a worldwide exclusive license to the technology and patent estate from the University of Chicago.
Evelo's drug discovery and development platform, from microbial strain identification through candidate evaluation, manufacturing and clinical development, has enabled a pipeline of monoclonal microbial clinical candidates. Evelo's first oncology clinical trials, which are planned to begin in 2018, will use monoclonal microbials developed from Bifidobacteria to treat cancer in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
"Evelo has made great progress in developing these exclusively licensed immunotherapies for cancer and planned clinical trials are further evidence of our strong partnership," said John Flavin, associate vice president and head of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. "We are pleased to work with Evelo to develop this new class of medicine and to translate these discoveries into therapies."
The patent is based on seminal work from the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Gajewski, whose team showed that the introduction of a particular strain of bacteria into the digestive tracts of mice with melanoma boosted the ability of the animal's immune systems to attack tumor cells. When combined with a checkpoint blockade inhibitor for PD-L1, the therapy nearly eradicated tumors in the mice. Gajewski's research was reported November 5, 2015 and January 5, 2018 in the journal Science.
"This is an exciting time in the field of cancer immunotherapy," Gajewski said. "Our previous work revealed a role for a commensal microbe in boosting the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy in mice. Our most recent work has indicated a similar correlation between the microbiota and anti-PD1 efficacy in patients. This relationship with Evelo will rapidly bring these new microbe-based immunotherapies forward into clinical testing in cancer patients."
"This patent has broad and fundamental claims to treat cancer using bacteria and is expected to be the first of many such patents for Evelo," said William DeVaul, vice president, head of intellectual property at Evelo. "The patent further validates the important and groundbreaking nature of the work."
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SOURCE Evelo Biosciences