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Elicio Therapeutics' Darrell Irvine co-authors research published in Science

July 11, 2019

  • Research conducted at the Irvine Lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is being utilized in Elicio's AMP-CAR-T Platform

  • Activation of CAR-T cells with Amphiphiles delivered to the lymph nodes induces massive CAR-T expansion, substantially improved efficacy across cancer types, and durable cures for solid tumors
CAMBRIDGE MA., July 12, 2019 - Elicio Therapeutics, a next generation immuno-oncology company, engineering therapies for cancer killing immune responses, today announced that studies of its Amphiphile platform in combination with CAR-T therapy (AMP-CAR-T) have shown that activation of CAR-T cells in the lymphatic system gives massive CAR-T cell expansion, and significant functional improvements including enhanced CAR-T cell infiltration of solid tumors, increased anti-tumor cytolytic potential, and improved cytokine response. The research, conducted in the labs of Elicio co-founder, Darrell Irvine, at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was published on July 12 by the journal Science, in a paper entitled "Enhanced CAR-T cell activity against solid tumors by vaccine boosting through the chimeric receptor."1

Through precise targeting and delivery directly to the lymphatic system, Elicio is engineering potent Amphiphile immunotherapies including cell therapy activators, immunomodulators, and vaccines for an array of aggressive cancers. The Amphiphile approach is based on the ground-breaking work of Darrell Irvine, PhD., Professor of Biological Engineering and Materials Sciences and Howard Hughes Investigator at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company is currently utilizing the study findings in its AMP-CAR-T platform to develop therapeutic interventions that activate and amplify CAR-T therapy to combat an array of cancers including solid tumors. In addition to enhancing the magnitude and functionality of co-administered CAR-T cells, the published data further shows that the combination of CAR-T with AMP-CAR-T activators leads to the potent induction of natural immune responses thought to be critical for improving activity in solid tumors, enabling prolonged survival and durable cures where CAR-T alone has no effect. Elicio is developing the AMP-CAR-T platform for combination with CAR-T cell therapies in a variety of settings including those targeting CD19, BCMA, and several solid tumor indications.

"CAR-Ts show great promise but historically they've had issues with durability of response and efficacy beyond hematologic cancers, which we hypothesized could be due to the lack of a means to properly stimulate these cells in vivo," said Darrell Irvine, Elicio co-founder, senior scientific advisor, and a supporting author. "What we saw in this study is that by activating CAR-T cells through their chimeric receptor in the native micro-environment of lymph nodes, it's possible to enhance CAR-T treatment of solid tumors across cancer types."

"We believe that Elicio's AMP-CAR-T platform has the potential to solve many of the major obstacles CAR-T therapy is facing by activating CAR-T cells in the lymph nodes to amplify immune responses which could lead to durable cures for aggressive, liquid and solid tumors," said Julian Adams, Ph.D., board chair, Elicio. "Elicio is developing a pipeline of AMP-CAR-T activators which when administered with CAR-T cells, or other CAR-engineered immune cells, will amplify their function for patients, creating a more powerful and lasting immune response."
About the AMP-CAR-T platform

The Elicio Amphiphile platform enables precise targeting and delivery of immunogens directly to the lymphatic system, the "brain center" of the immune response, to significantly amplify and enhance the body's own system of defenses to defeat cancer, and stop its recurrence. When combined with CAR-T therapy, AMP-CAR-T activators specifically designed to bind to the CAR receptor are presented on the cell surface of immune cells in the lymph nodes. CAR-T cells passing through the lymph nodes en route to the tumor see these AMP-CAR-T activators on the surface of specialized antigen presenting cells (APCs), which then deliver potent activating signals to T cells to coordinate their expansion, development of anti-tumor functions, and mobilization against tumors. This strategy is highly flexible for universal application with any CAR-T therapy without the need for re-engineering of the CAR-T cell design.

About Elicio Therapeutics

Elicio, based in Cambridge MA, is committed to transforming the lives of patients and their families by re-engineering the body's immune response to defeat cancer. By combining expertise in materials science and immunology, Elicio is engineering potent Amphiphile immunotherapies including lymph node targeted cell therapy activators, immunomodulators, and vaccines for an array of aggressive cancers. Elicio's lead Amphiphile vaccine targeting KRAS-driven cancers will begin initial patient studies in pancreatic and colorectal cancer patients in the first half of 2020. These programs are followed by a broad preclinical pipeline of lymph node targeted immunotherapies. For more information please visit

[1] Leyuan Ma et al. Enhanced CAR-T cell activity against solid tumors by vaccine boosting through the chimeric receptor. Science 2019;

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