Proprietary Lateral CAR Platform achieved pre-clinical proof-of-concept data demonstrating prolonged disease-free survival compared to other CAR T-cell products
Leucid Bio, a biotech company pioneering next-generation cell therapies for hard-to-treat cancers, has provided a business update.
Founded to translate over 20 years of pioneering CAR-T research led by Leucid’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr John Maher at King’s College London, Leucid has developed a unique Lateral CAR Platform building upon John’s novel CAR-T model which develops CAR molecules designed to adopt a more natural biological configuration.
CAR T-cell therapy is a revolutionary technology in which immune cells, called T-cells, are reprogrammed so they can recognise and destroy cancer cells. This has proven to be a powerful therapy for refractory blood cancers, but to date has lacked efficacy for the treatment of solid cancers.
Leucid’s novel approach reconfigures the way a CAR is constructed by moving the key functional components into their natural lateral position next to the plasma membrane, as opposed to a linear configuration. The technology platform gives properties to the CAR-Ts that enable them to consistently outperform previous generations of CAR-T therapies in pre-clinical studies; enhancing tumour targeting and selectivity, T-cell potency and generating a persistent long-term response with reduced toxicity.
Leucid Bio is in an exciting phase of expansion as we progress to first in human Proof-of-Concept for our novel Lateral CAR Platform in multiple programmes
2022 saw the pre-clinical package for the Company’s lead programme LEU011, a Lateral CAR targeting NKG2D ligands, fully assembled. The NKG2D receptor is an activating immune receptor that triggers cell death upon recognition of one or more of the eight human NKG2D ligands expressed on transformed, infected or damaged cells.
Leucid has generated robust pre-clinical proof of concept data that demonstrate therapeutic potential for a range of solid tumours including colorectal, pancreatic, mesothelioma, ovarian (both epithelial and high-grade serous subtypes) and breast cancer. These studies consistently demonstrate prolonged disease-free survival compared to other CAR T-cell products, including those in clinical trials. The method of testing employed by Leucid Bio is characterised by its rigorous approach to evaluating the persistence of CAR-T anti-tumour function in vivo. By looking for long-term protection after tumour re-challenge, Leucid sets the gold standard for this type of testing.
Leucid holds exclusive option rights to King’s College London’s broad portfolio of CAR-T assets for future pipeline expansion. The Company has a laboratory base at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and is currently looking for Clean Room space ahead of Phase I clinical testing of LEU011.
Over the last 18 months, the Company has successfully built its Senior Leadership team under Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Artin Moussavi, which now comprises:
As the Company enters its next growth phase, and in order to position the Company to fully exploit all of the opportunities afforded by its strong IP position and Platform, it is an opportune time for the Board to re-configure the Management Team. Artin Moussavi will move to the role of Chief Business Officer (CBO) to focus fully on building the Company’s industry relationships. Non-Executive Chairman Ian Miscampbell will move to the role of Interim Executive Chairman as the Company actively seeks a new CEO to take Leucid’s multiple programmes into clinical development, and expand on its partnerships and collaborations.
Leucid expects to file a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) to initiate the First in Human (FiH) clinical trial of its Lateral CAR Platform in multiple programmes through Phase I/II clinical trials in H1 2023, with the aim of dosing patients by H2 2023.
Following a successful £11.5 million Series A fundraise in 2021 Leucid is now looking to raise a Series B round to finance the pivot from pre-clinical to clinical development.
Ian Miscampbell, Interim Executive Chairman at Leucid Bio, said: “Leucid Bio is in an exciting phase of expansion as we progress to first in human Proof-of-Concept for our novel Lateral CAR Platform in multiple programmes. John was the first to engineer and develop CD28-based second generation CAR technology in human T-cells 20 years ago, and has continued to innovate in the field as one of its acknowledged experts ever since. Our proprietary platform has been built around his groundbreaking research.”