July 21, 2022 -- Achilles Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ACHL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision T cell therapies to treat solid tumors, today announced that it is leading a consortium that has been awarded a €4 million ($4.2 million1) grant from Horizon Europe, the European Union’s key funding program for research and innovation. The consortium, which also includes Leibniz University Hannover (the project coordinator), the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and the Fundacion para la Investigacion del Hospital Universitario la Fe de la Comunidad Valenciana, will develop an innovative smart bioprocessing manufacturing platform for personalized cell therapies.
“We are thrilled to be part of this consortium to support the continued innovation of cell therapy manufacturing processes,” said Edward Samuel, EVP, Technical Operations at Achilles Therapeutics. “As a pioneer in the field of personalized cell therapies, we are excited to lend our expertise to this project which we believe can deliver significant benefits for patients.”
Most cell therapy manufacturing platforms do not provide sufficient real-time data during production which can limit proactive decision making and reduce overall scalability. This consortium will collaborate on the development of a proof-of-concept, first-in-class, smart bioprocessing manufacturing platform for personalized cell therapies that aims to incorporate advanced inline spectroscopic sensors and smart machine-learning process control systems. The project, named SMARTER, will be conducted by a team of world-leading, interdisciplinary scientists from the consortium with expertise in cancer immunotherapy, bioinformatics, cell therapy bioprocess engineering, metabolomics and advanced sensor development.
Of the €4 million that has been allocated to this project, approximately €1.4 million ($1.5 million1) will be allocated to Achilles via the Horizon Europe Guarantee from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to the individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. The Company has two ongoing Phase I/IIa trials, the CHIRON trial in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the THETIS trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with its proprietary AI-Powered PELEUS™ bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient, and then develop precision T cell-based product candidates specifically targeting those clonal neoantigens.
About the other Consortium Members
Leibniz University Hannover
The Leibniz University Hannover is one of the largest and oldest science and technology universities in Germany. As one of the nine leading Universities of Technology in Germany (member of TU9 Alliance), Leibniz University Hannover is aware of its responsibility in seeking sustainable, peaceful and responsible solutions to the key issues of tomorrow. The Institute of Technical Chemistry offers a broad expertise on various bioprocess engineering areas in up- and downstream processing ranging from bacterial to human cell culture, enzyme application as well as bioanalytical monitoring and control.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult is an independent innovation and technology organisation committed to the advancement of cell and gene therapies with a vision of a thriving industry delivering life changing advanced therapies to the world. Its aim is to create powerful collaborations which overcome challenges to the advancement of the sector. With over 400 experts covering all aspects of advanced therapies, it applies its unique capabilities and assets, collaborates with academia, industry and healthcare providers to develop new technology and innovation. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information, please visit ct.catapult.org.uk or visit www.gov.uk/innovate-uk.
Fundacion para la Investigacion del Hospital Universitario la Fe de la Comunidad Valenciana
The Fundacion para la Investigacion del Hospital Universitario la Fe de la Comunidad Valenciana encourages, promotes and fosters cutting-edge investigation, scientific and technological knowledge and its further transfer to the production sector. The same holds true in its role in teaching and training in the Hospital and other primary care centres that fall under the “La Fe” Health Department. HULAFE was accredited by the Health Institute Carlos III (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) as a Health Research Institute in 2009, and again re-accredited in 2014. The HULAFE is formed by 47 multidisciplinary and complementary research groups that offer scientific and technological services in 10,000 m2 dedicated to clinical and research laboratories that undertake research programs based on state-of-the-art biomedical science.
About Horizon Europe
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The program facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies.
For further information please visit Horizon Europe.
This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements that are based on our management's belief and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements relate to future events or our future operational or financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release represent our views as of the date of this press release. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should therefore not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
1 June 30, 2022 exchange rate of €1.000 = $1.043
Lee M. Stern, VP, IR & External Communications
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Sukaina Virji, Melissa Gardiner
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