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Advancing Natural Killer Cell Therapies for Hematologic Malignancies

Sonny Hsiao, PhD, chief executive officer, president and cofounder, Acepodia, discussed the company’s future research and plans.

Acepodia is using their novel development platforms to create off-the-shelf cell therapies for both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. The technologies they are developing with their antibody cell-conjugation platform include amplified natural killer cells, supercharged cell therapies, and γδ T cells.

The company’s lead program is ACE1702, an allogeneic, amplified natural killer cell therapy. It is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 study (NCT04319757) for HER2-positive solid tumors. A second program in development is ACE1831, an allogeneic natural killer-like γδ T cell therapy in development for hematologic cancers.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Sonny Hsiao, president, cofounder, and chief executive officer, Acepodia, to learn more about the company’s therapies in development. He discussed ACE1831 as well as the company’s upcoming plans and research.

GeneTherapyLive: What programs are you focused on advancing next and why?

Sonny Hsiao, PhD: A second product candidate of Acepodia that will advance into clinical studies is our lead gamma-delta T cell therapy candidate, ACE1831, which is armed with an antibody targeting CD20 and is being developed for hematological cancers. In an in vivo model, ACE1831 showed prolonged survival compared to treatment groups utilizing the same antibody and effector cells separately. In addition, ACE1831 is shown to trigger the release of interferon gamma but not interleukin-6 while engaging target tumor cells in vivo, suggesting that ACE1831 may activate the immune system without the risk of cytokine release syndrome. What’s more, with our cryopreservation process, the gamma-delta T cells preserved nearly 100% viability and potency, which tells us that it has the potential to truly be an ‘off-the-shelf’ product.

What else can we expect to see from Acepodia through 2021 and early 2022?

We are focused on advancing our pipeline of first-in-class ACE therapies to address the significant limitations of today’s cell therapies. Looking ahead, we plan to share more early clinical data for our first candidate ACE1702 in the 1H 2022, initiate a clinical trial of ACE1831, our gamma-delta T cell candidate, and submit an IND for ACE1708 next year.

Is there anything else clinicians should know about Acepodia, the company’s pipeline, technologies, or future research?

I am proud of how quickly our global team has been able to advance a potential new class of cell therapies that can revolutionize cell therapy as we know it. With our robust clinical pipeline, Acepodia is just at the beginning of tapping into the full potential of our ACC technology. We intend to create a powerful, versatile, safe, and affordable platform with potential applications in a variety of indications. Acepodia’s research and clinical progress pays testament to the passion and commitment of our team to bring innovative, effective and affordable cell therapies to the broadest possible population of patients and families suffering from cancer.

Transcript edited for clarity.

REFERENCE
Acepodia presents data on its allogeneic natural killer-like gamma-delta T cell therapy, ACE1831, in development for hematological cancers. News release. Acepodia. May 19, 2021. https://www.biospace.com/article/releases/acepodia-presents-data-on-its-allogeneic-natural-killer-like-gamma-delta-t-cell-therapy-ace1831-in-development-for-hematological-cancers/