• Tessa Therapeutics and China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Form Landmark US$120 Million Joint Venture in China to Develop Innovative Cell Therapies for Cancer

    Date: 13 Jun 2019 | Download Press Release

    • The partnership will leverage Tessa Therapeutics’ global operational capabilities and cell therapy platform technologies to target prevalent cancers in China
    • The joint venture will be the sole licensee of Tessa Therapeutics’ cell therapies for research, development and commercialization in China

     

    SINGAPORE – 13 June 2019 – Tessa Therapeutics (Tessa), a clinical-stage cell therapy company focused on the development of autologous and allogeneic therapies to treat cancer, announced today that it will establish a joint venture with China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC). The joint venture will be the sole licensee of Tessa’s cell therapies for research, clinical development and commercialization in China.

    Tessa and CSGKC will invest a combined total of US$120 million in the joint venture – CSGKC will contribute US$80 million and Tessa will provide US$40 million – in two stages. In the first stage, CSGKC will contribute US$40 million for 13 percent stake in the joint venture, while Tessa will contribute US$20 million and its technology license rights for China. Tessa will hold the remaining 87 percent stake in the joint venture.

    “China is an important market in our goal to develop innovative cell therapies and make them widely accessible for cancer patients all over the world,” said Mr. Andrew Khoo, Tessa Therapeutics CEO and Co-Founder. “The joint venture is an important milestone in Tessa’s China strategy and will draw from Tessa’s international clinical execution capability and cell therapy platform technologies. I firmly believe that having China as a core part of Tessa’s global clinical development strategy will accelerate our cell therapies to market.”

    The joint venture’s immediate strategic priorities will focus on conducting clinical trials in China for Tessa’s cell therapies, which target prevalent cancers in the country for patients with hematological malignancies and solid tumors. This will be done by building up robust operational capabilities and adding leading clinical trial sites in China into Tessa’s global clinical trial network.

     

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    About China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City

    China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC) formerly known as the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC) is a greenfield master development by Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co., Ltd, a joint venture company established by Ascendas-Singbridge and Guangzhou Development District (GDD). Situated approximately 35 km northeast of Guangzhou city centre and 25 km from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, it is strategically located in the core area of the Greater Bay Area, a key integrated economic hub which is slated to become the world largest bay economy.

    Envisioned as a model and catalyst for Guangdong’s economic transformation, the 123 sq km CSGKC is positioned as a unique, vibrant and sustainable city highly attractive to both talents and knowledge-based industries. Since its inception in 2010, CSGKC has achieved significant progress. Following the completion of basic infrastructure works in the 6.27 sqkm Start-Up Area (SUA) and the opening of two new subway lines by end of 2018, accessibility and connectivity in the area have improved significantly. Furthermore, CSGKC has also seen the completion of phase 1 OneHub GKC, an integrated business park development comprising business and commercial space, high-end residential and lifestyle amenities. Plans for the next phase of development has kickstarted with joint exploration for the development of the 2 sqkm Sino-Singapore International Technology Innovation Cooperation Demonstration Area (Demonstration Area) within CSGKC.

    The importance of CSGKC continues to grow with the signing of a Framework Agreement between Chinese and Singapore government on 12th November 2018 to elevate the project to a State-Level Bilateral Cooperation Project, making it the first private sector-led project to receive state level elevation.

    Building upon its new status as well as leveraging on the growth of the Greater Bay Area, CSGKC is well positioned to become a dynamic, high value urban centre with opportunities for local and international enterprises.

    For more information on CSGKC, please visit www.ssgkc.com.

     

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical-stage cell therapy company focused on the development of autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies targeting a wide range of cancers. Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell (VST) platform harnesses the body’s potent anti-viral immune response and has shown early efficacy and a strong safety profile in the treatment of solid tumors.

    Tessa is building a portfolio of innovative, next-generation therapies by combining VSTs with other immuno-oncology approaches. This portfolio includes a rapidly growing pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical autologous programs that target a wide range of cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, as well as head and neck cancer. In addition, Tessa is leveraging its platform to develop allogeneic therapies to address Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphomas and solid tumors.

    Tessa has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool worldwide. Together with the Company’s academic, clinical, and commercial research partners, Tessa has created a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

     

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts

    Gladys Wong
    gladyswong@tessatherapeutics.com
    +65 6384 0755

    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

  • Tessa Therapeutics, in Collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, Presents Preclinical Results Showing Enhanced T Cell Responses Against HER2-Positive Solid Tumors Using Novel Combination CAR T Cell Therapy

    Date: 30 Apr 2019 | Download Press Release

    • Preclinical, ‘proof-of-concept’ results for a novel ‘all-in-one’ immunotherapy for the treatment of Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2)-positive solid tumors
    • The preclinical findings support the advancement of this multimodal immunotherapy into a Phase I clinical trial

     

    SINGAPORE – 30 April 2019 – Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cell therapy company focused on autologous and allogeneic therapies for a wide range of cancers, today announced ‘proof-of-concept’ data from the preclinical study of TT16, a first-of-its-kind combination immunotherapy that integrates Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy and oncolytic adenovirus expressing immunomodulatory molecules for the treatment of Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2)-positive solid tumors.

    The results of the preclinical study, a collaboration between Tessa Therapeutics and Baylor College of Medicine, were presented today at the 2019 American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

    “The preclinical data presented today demonstrates the feasibility of combining CAR T cell therapy with other immunotherapy agents to overcome the challenges of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and enhance the T cells’ anti-tumor activity against HER2-positive cancer cells,” said Dr. Ivan D. Horak, M.D., President of Research and Development, Tessa Therapeutics. “These results support our plans to further develop this next-generation product candidate. We look forward to progressing the therapy into a Phase I clinical trial for patients with HER2-positive solid tumors.”

    In the preclinical study, HER2-specific CAR T anti-tumor activity was evaluated in HER2-positive human solid tumor animal models. The therapy consists of a two-step process, in which the models were first injected with a binary oncolytic adenovirus (CAd) followed by the infusion of HER2-CAR T cells.

    The combination therapy showed durable responses in the various tumor models. Furthermore, CAd secreting PD-L1 blocking antibody and activation cytokine IL-12p70 improved the persistence and activity of the HER2-CAR T cells even in advanced disease models showing metastasis similar to those seen in patients.

    The data also demonstrates that local treatment of this ‘all-in-one’ therapy can systemically enhance the responses of HER2-CAR T cells against HER2-positive cancer cells.

    The abstract, titled “Combination Local Oncolytic Adenoimmunotherapy and Systemic CAR-T Cell Therapies for Advanced Solid Tumor Treatment” can be found on the ASGCT meeting website at http://50.23.255.131/clients/schedule_pdfs/1866/mediaid_183.pdf.

     

    ***

     

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical-stage cell therapy company focused on the development of autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies targeting a wide range of cancers. Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell (VST) platform harnesses the body’s potent anti-viral immune response and has shown early efficacy and a strong safety profile in the treatment of solid tumors.

    Tessa is building a portfolio of innovative, next-generation therapies by combining VSTs with other immuno-oncology approaches. This portfolio includes a rapidly growing pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical autologous programs that target a wide range of cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, as well as head and neck cancer. In addition, Tessa is leveraging its platform to develop allogeneic therapies to address Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphomas and solid tumors.

    Tessa has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool worldwide. Together with the Company’s academic, clinical, and commercial research partners, Tessa has created a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

     

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts

    Gladys Wong
    gladyswong@tessatherapeutics.com
    +65 6384 0755

    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

  • Tessa Therapeutics Collaborates with MSD to Evaluate the Potential of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in combination with VST Therapy for Cervical Cancer

    Date: 16 Apr 2019 | Download Press Release

    • The collaboration will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Tessa’s armored human papillomavirus-specific T cell (HPVST) therapy combined with MSD’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) to address the limited number of effective treatment options for metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer

     

    SINGAPORE – 16 April 2019 – Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies targeting solid tumors, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with MSD (tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA), through a subsidiary, to evaluate Tessa’s armored human papillomavirus-specific T cell (HPVST) therapy, or TT12, in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), MSD’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, in patients with recurrent or metastatic HPV 16 and 18-positive cervical cancer.

    Under the agreement, Tessa will conduct a multi-center Phase 1b/2 trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination. The trial is planned for initiation in the United States, Singapore and South Korea.

    “We are very excited to work with MSD to evaluate the potential of KEYTRUDA® in combination with Tessa’s VST therapy for cervical cancer,” said Mr. Andrew Khoo, Tessa Therapeutics CEO and Co-Founder. “Cervical cancer is a major cause of death in women, especially in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. Furthermore, the current prognosis and treatment options for patients with metastatic cervical cancer are poor. We look forward to developing this novel combination further, which has the potential to bring more effective treatment options for such patients.”

    Tessa’s TT12 is an autologous cell therapy product composed of HPVSTs that have been trained to target HPV 16/18 antigens and genetically modified with a decoy TGF-β receptor to overcome the suppressive tumor microenvironment. The safety and optimal dose selection of armored HPVSTs in combination with another anti-PD-1 antibody is currently being evaluated in a separate, ongoing investigator-sponsored Phase 1 trial in the United States, in patients with relapsed HPV-associated cancers. Preliminary results from this trial show that armored HPVSTs and its combination with anti-PD-1 are well-tolerated, have minimal toxicities and early signs of efficacy.

    Dr. Ivan D. Horak, M.D., Tessa Therapeutics President of Research and Development said, “Tessa’s TT12 Phase 1 study has shown encouraging results, supporting the effectiveness of armoured HPVSTs in targeting HPV-positive tumors and the addition of anti-PD-1 may remove potential immune inhibition that can hamper the tumor-killing activity of the HPVSTs. Bringing this therapy into a Phase 1b/2 trial and the expansion of clinical sites into Asia reflect our desire to bring novel therapies to more cancer patients globally, as well as our belief in the therapy’s potential to improve the clinical outcomes of patients with advanced stages of HPV-positive tumors.”

    KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA.

     

    ***

    About Cervical Cancer and Armored HPVST Immunotherapy
    According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide and second most common in less developed regions. Cervical cancer is caused by sexually acquired infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), with two HPV types (16 and 18) accounting for 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions.

    Various studies have reported poor outcome of patients with metastatic cervical cancer. Currently, the median survival time for metastatic cervical cancer is only 8 to 13 months1 and the 5-year survival rate is 16.5% compared to 91.5% for localized cervical cancer2. Contrary to patients with early-stage cervical cancer and locally advanced cervical cancer who have access to conventional treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, patients with metastatic cervical cancer have no standard treatment because of its heterogeneous manifestations.

    T cells are a critical part of the body’s immune system that play a central role in fighting virus infections and cancers. Virus-Specific T cells (VSTs), in particular, have the ability to recognize and kill infected cells while activating other parts of immune system for a coordinated response.

    HPVSTs are produced by collecting patient’s blood and selectively expanding T cells which recognize HPV 16/18 antigens. To increase durability in the tumor microenvironment, the HPVSTs are armored by modifying the cells to express a decoy TGF-β receptor. The armored HPVSTs are expanded before undergoing strict quality control prior to infusion back into the patient.

     

    About Tessa Therapeutics
    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on the development of autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies targeting solid tumors. Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell (VST) platform harnesses the body’s potent anti-viral immune response and has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors.

    Tessa is building a portfolio of innovative, next-generation therapies by combining the qualities of VSTs with other immuno-oncology technologies. This includes a rapidly growing pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical autologous programs that target a wide range of cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, as well as head and neck cancer. In addition, Tessa is leveraging its platform to develop an allogeneic therapy to address Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphomas.

    Tessa has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool worldwide. Together with the Company’s academic, clinical, and commercial research partners, Tessa has created a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

     

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts

    Gladys Wong
    gladyswong@tessatherapeutics.com
    +65 6384 0755

    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

  • Biopharma veteran, Jeffrey H. Buchalter is our newest independent board director

    Date: 1 Mar 2019 | Download Press Release

    • Mr Buchalter brings over thirty years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with strong corporate leadership and an extensive background in the commercial positioning and development of therapeutics in oncology

     

    SINGAPORE – 1 March 2019 – Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies targeting solid tumors, today announced the appointment of Mr. Jeffrey H. Buchalter as an independent director.

    Mr. Buchalter brings over three decades of biopharmaceutical industry experience and has an extensive background in commercialization and drug development in oncology. He has held various chairmanships and senior management positions, including serving as Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Archimedes Pharma. Prior to joining Archimedes, he was Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ-listed Enzon Pharmaceuticals, and President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Ilex Oncology, Inc. He has also served as a senior executive at Pharmacia, Wyeth and Schering-Plough.

    Underscoring his leadership in the industry, Mr. Buchalter received the American Cancer Society’s Joseph F. Buckley Memorial Award for his commitment to cancer control and involvement in the oncology pharmaceutical field. At the invitation of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, he served as Collaborating Partner in the President’s National Dialogue on Cancer. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation in the United States.

    “We are delighted to welcome Jeff to the Tessa board,” said Tessa Therapeutics co-founder and CEO, Mr. Andrew Khoo. “His extensive industry leadership experience combined with his deep knowledge of oncology will be a great fit as Tessa moves to our next growth inflection point. Jeff’s commercial experience steeped in oncology will be a strong asset to Tessa.”

    Commenting on his new role, Mr. Buchalter said, “I am pleased to be part of Tessa’s growth and development at such a critical stage of the company’s growth. I am excited to see the clinical progress Tessa has made in the treatment of solid tumors, using their proprietary technology. The strong operational capabilities of the team as well as Tessa’s vibrant culture make this a compelling opportunity.”

    Tessa recently announced the addition of Dr. George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D., Professor and Chief of Medical Oncology at the Stanford University Medical Center, to its Board of Directors.

    ***

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts

    Gladys Wong
    gladyswong@tessatherapeutics.com
    +65 6384 0755

    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on the development of autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies targeting solid tumors. Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell (VST) platform harnesses the body’s potent anti-viral immune response and has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors.

    Tessa is building a portfolio of innovative, next-generation therapies by combining the qualities of VSTs with other immuno-oncology technologies. This includes a rapidly growing pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical autologous programs that target a wide range of cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, liver cancer and lung cancer. In addition, Tessa is leveraging its platform to develop an allogeneic therapy to address Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphomas.

    Tessa has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool worldwide. Together with the Company’s academic, clinical, and commercial research partners, Tessa has created a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

  • Distinguished breast cancer expert, Dr. George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D., joins our Board

    Date: 21 Dec 2018 | Download Press Release

    • Dr. George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D., is Professor and Chief of Medical Oncology at the Stanford University Medical Center
    • Dr. Sledge brings decades of experience and leadership in cancer research and drug development to Tessa 

     

    SINGAPORE – 21 December 2018 – Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies for cancer patients, today announced that Dr. George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D., Professor and Chief of Medical Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center, will join Tessa’s Board of Directors as an independent director, effective 2 January 2019.

    This appointment marks another significant step to strengthen Tessa’s industry expertise, as the company builds and advances its portfolio of therapies to treat more cancer patients worldwide.

    “I would like to warmly welcome Dr. Sledge to the Tessa team,” said Tessa Therapeutics co-founder and CEO, Mr. Andrew Khoo. “He brings with him a wealth of experience, having spent over two decades developing novel biologic treatments for breast cancer as well as directing a Phase III study on the use of paclitaxel to treat advanced breast cancer. His leadership in cancer research and within the oncology community will be invaluable in supporting the Board of Directors and management team. Tessa is truly privileged to be able to add this outstanding leader to our Company.”

    Commenting on his new role, Dr. Sledge said, “I am extremely excited to join Tessa’s Board of Directors. Cellular immunotherapy has demonstrated remarkable results and I am looking forward to working with the entire team at Tessa to further accelerate the development of this field. Tessa’s bourgeoning pipeline of ground-breaking immunotherapies and the team’s passion and commitment to help improve the lives of cancer patients globally are truly impressive. I am eager to work alongside my fellow directors and the management to support the Company in developing more innovative and effective cancer treatment options for patients in need.”

    Dr. Sledge serves as co-chair of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and is a past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He was also former Chair of the Breast Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) where he oversaw the development of several nationwide Phase III clinical trials, a member of the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee and a member of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Clinical Trials Advisory Committee.

    Dr. Sledge was awarded the Susan G. Komen San Francisco Bay Area Visionary Award in 2018, in recognition of the important advancements he has made in medical research focused on breast cancer. He was also a recipient of the Hope Funds for Cancer Research 2013 Award of ‘Excellence for Medicine’, the 2010 William L. McGuire Award from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s 2007 Jill Rose Award.

    ***

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts

    Gladys Wong
    gladyswong@tessatherapeutics.com
    +65 6384 0755

    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on the development of autologous and off-the-shelf, allogeneic therapies for cancer patients.

    Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell (VST) platform harnesses the body’s potent anti-viral immune response and has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors.

    Tessa is building a portfolio of innovative, next-generation therapies by combining the qualities of VSTs with other immuno-oncology technologies. This includes a rapidly growing pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical autologous programs that target a wide range of viral and non-viral cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, liver cancer and lung cancer. In addition, Tessa is leveraging its platform to develop an allogeneic therapy to address Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoproliferative diseases.

    Tessa has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool worldwide. Together with the Company’s academic, clinical, and commercial research partners, Tessa has created a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy. For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

  • Tessa Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Ivan Horak as President of Research and Development

    Date: 29 Nov 2018 | Download Press Release (PDF)

    • Dr. Horak will oversee Tessa’s extensive research and clinical development programs targeting a wide range of cancer types with cellular immunotherapy
    • He brings over 20 years of successful cancer therapy clinical development experience to Tessa

     

    SINGAPORE – 28 November 2018 – Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on cellular immunotherapy treatments for cancer, today announced the appointment of Ivan D. Horak as President of Research and Development. In his new position, Dr. Horak will be responsible for all aspects of Tessa’s research and development, regulatory and clinical development activities.

    Dr. Horak brings more than 20 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, predominantly focused on oncology drug development, and is a board-certified medical oncologist. He joins Tessa from Symphogen, a clinical-stage antibody company, where he was Head of Global R&D and Chief Scientific and Medical Officer. Prior to that, he was the President of R&D at Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENZN).

    Dr. Horak has also held a number of senior research leadership positions in various pharmaceutical companies as well as at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During his career, Dr. Horak advanced multiple oncology treatments into the clinic and successfully led a number of FDA new drug applications.

    In addition to publishing over 90 scientific articles and book chapters, Dr. Horak is a member of several prominent medical societies such as the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Society of Hematology (ASH) and European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO). He also served on the editorial board of the scientific journal, Cancer Research.

    “I am delighted to welcome Ivan to Tessa Therapeutics. The vast experience he brings to our senior team further strengthens Tessa’s industry expertise and will be instrumental in maximizing the success of our R&D pipeline,” said Tessa Therapeutics co-founder and CEO, Mr. Andrew Khoo. “I am confident that his stewardship will play an important role as Tessa progresses our portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical cellular immunotherapies into the next phase of development.”

    Commenting on his new role, Dr. Horak said, “I have been very impressed with Tessa’s research and development portfolio. This is an exciting opportunity to play a leading role in advancing the Company’s pipeline of groundbreaking cellular immunotherapies. Tessa’s Virus- Specific T (VST) cell platform holds tremendous potential for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. We are at a point in medical history in which immunotherapy is being widely recognized as the most promising path to treat cancer. Tessa’s portfolio includes opportunities to develop that path in truly unique ways. I look forward to working closely with the management and staff to make Tessa’s vision a reality.”

    ***

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts
    Brunswick Group
    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

     

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the Company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The Company is also conducting a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer which is expected to move into Phase II in 2019. In addition, Tessa is developing a broad pipeline of pre-clinical programs targeting major cancers such as liver and lung cancer. The Company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled Tessa to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy. For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Tessa Therapeutics Announce Strategic Collaboration

    Date: 21 Sep 2018 | Download Press Release (PDF)

    • The collaboration between St. Jude and Tessa aims to advance cellular immunotherapy treatments for childhood cancer
    • St. Jude and Tessa will pioneer a novel approach to pediatric high grade gliomas, aggressive brain cancers in children, in which multiple cancer antigens will be targeted by chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified Virus-Specific T cells

    MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE & SINGAPORE – 21 September 2018 – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (St. Jude), the U.S. hospital leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, together with Tessa Therapeutics (Tessa), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the establishment of a strategic collaboration focusing on the development of novel cellular immunotherapies that could lead to new treatment options for children with brain cancer.

    The goal of the partnership is to accelerate the preclinical development of CAR-expressing Virus- Specific T cells (VSTs) leading to clinical testing in the near future. Stephen Gottschalk, M.D., chair of the St. Jude Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, leads the St. Jude team of investigators, which also includes Giedre Krenciute, Ph.D., and Jean-Yves Metais, Ph.D.

    “The strategic collaboration will advance our understanding of how CARs work in VSTs,” Gottschalk said. “The gained knowledge will be critical for optimizing CAR VSTs targeting multiple tumor antigens expressed in pediatric high-grade gliomas.”

    For the collaboration’s first project, the research teams of Gottschalk and John E. Connolly, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Tessa Therapeutics, will develop a new treatment for pediatric high- grade gliomas, an aggressive form of brain cancer in children, which currently has very few treatment options.

    “We are excited to team up with St. Jude in the fight against childhood cancer,” said Andrew Khoo, Tessa Therapeutics CEO and Co-Founder. “St. Jude, one of the leading pediatric cancer hospitals in the U.S., shares our vision of working toward a cure for cancer. We believe our joint effort will accelerate advances in cellular immunotherapy and lead us a step closer to achieving this vision. Together, we aim to bring new hope to children suffering from cancer in the U.S. and around the world.”

    Notably, the teams at Tessa and St. Jude will explore a new approach to cellular immunotherapy by targeting multiple tumor antigens with CARs using Tessa’s VST platform. This novel multi-CAR VST approach carries the potential to improve survival rates in children as well as reduce the chance of tumor escape, a phenomenon where cancer evolves to evade a successful treatment.

    “If successful,” Gottschalk said, “multi-CAR VSTs could be adapted to other pediatric cancers that cannot be cured with conventional therapies.”

    Connolly added, “High-grade glioma is a tumor where in some cases, we have seen a reduction in tumor volume following cell therapy treatment. However, after some time the tumor starts growing again. One reason could be that current therapies only target single tumor antigens. Over time, cancer cells may mutate and stop displaying the target antigen. Targeting multiple antigens should prevent the cancer from taking this escape strategy. The promise of the multi-CAR VST approach we are taking together with St. Jude is incredibly exciting.”

    Cellular immunotherapy is a new cancer treatment that harnesses the patient’s immune system to fight the disease. It is widely considered one of the most promising advances toward a cure for cancer. T cells are removed from the patient’s blood and re-engineered to recognize the cancer cells. The T cells are then expanded to large numbers and infused back into the patient where the T cells seek out and destroy the cancer cells.

    ***

    St. Jude Media Relations Contacts

    Marvin Stockwell
    Desk: (901) 595-6384
    Cell: (901) 734-8766
    marvin.stockwell@stjude.org
    media@stjude.org

    Michael Sheffield
    Desk: (901) 595-0221
    Cell: (901) 379-6072
    Michael.Sheffield@stjude.org
    media@stjude.org

     

    Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts
    Brunswick Group
    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

     

    About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute- designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit www.stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.

     

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the Company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The Company is also conducting a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer which is expected to move into Phase II in 2019. In addition, Tessa is developing a broad pipeline of pre-clinical programs targeting major cancers such as liver and lung cancer. The Company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled Tessa to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy. For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

  • Tessa Therapeutics announces new Board Member and increase of recent funding round

    Date: 12 Apr 2018 | Download Press Release (PDF)

    • Göran Ando, former Chairman of Novo Nordisk A/S, to join Tessa’s Board of Directors
    • Recent financing round increased by USD 50 million based on significant additional demand, bringing total funds raised in this round to USD 130 million

    SINGAPORE – 12 April 2018 – Tessa Therapeutics, an international clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on cellular immunotherapy treatments for cancer, is delighted to announce that Göran Ando, the former Chairman of Novo Nordisk A/S, has joined the Board as an Independent Director.

    The company also announces that, due to additional demand in its latest funding round, it has raised a further USD 50m, bringing the total raised in this round to USD 130 million. Tessa will use the proceeds to continue the advancement of its clinical pipeline and to bring new therapies into clinical trials, broadening the range of cancers that can be treated with the company’s Virus Specific T cell (VST) platform.

    Commenting on his new role, Dr. Göran Ando said “Immunotherapy, and specifically T cell therapy, is one of the most exciting areas in the healthcare sector today, and Tessa Therapeutics is a leader in their field. I am delighted to join the Board of this innovative company and look forward to working with my Board colleagues and the management to further develop the pipeline towards making novel therapies available to patients.”

    Tessa Therapeutics CEO and Co-Founder, Andrew Khoo said “I am proud to welcome Dr. Ando to the Board of Tessa Therapeutics. The wealth of experience that Göran brings from his illustrious career leading some of the world’s top healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses will be of great benefit to us all. Combined with the additional funding we have raised by expanding our recent funding round, I feel that we are now at a key moment in our journey as an important player in the development of cellular immunotherapy, and we are delighted that Dr. Ando is joining us at this exciting stage.”

    Dr. Ando brings over 35 years of international healthcare experience to Tessa Therapeutics. Starting his career at Pfizer, he held senior positions at leading global healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses including Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline, before joining Pharmacia AB as Executive VP and then as Deputy CEO in 1995. More recently, Dr. Ando served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cell Tech Group PLC and has been a Senior Adviser to leading specialist healthcare investment group Essex Woodlands since 2007. Until March 2018, Dr. Ando has been a member of the Board of Directors of Novo Holdings A/S.

    Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell (VST) technology is showing compelling results and an excellent safety profile in the treatment of cancer. The company is currently conducting a multi-center Phase III trial targeting nasopharyngeal cancer, and a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer, set to move into Phase II in 2019. In addition, Tessa is developing a broad pipeline of pre-clinical programs targeting major cancers such as liver and lung using its VST platform.

    ***

    Media Contact
    Brunswick Group
    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

    Investor Contact
    Trout Group
    Pete Rahmer
    prahmer@troutgroup.com
    +1 646-378-2973

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s core virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver autologous T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled the company to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

  • Tessa Therapeutics Announces Opening of Recruitment Sites Across the United States for its Phase III Nose Cancer Immunotherapy Trial

    Date: 05 Feb 2018 | Download Press Release (PDF)

    • With the Stanford Cancer Institute joining as a clinical trial partner, Tessa’s Phase III trial for nose cancer (nasopharyngeal cancer) is now widely accessible across multiple locations in the U.S.
    • The therapy is based on Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell platform which is showing compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors

    SINGAPORE – 05 February 2018 – Tessa Therapeutics (Tessa), a clinical stage immunotherapy company, announced that the Stanford Cancer Institute recently joined the company’s trial network which now consists of seven hospitals across the United States. The company’s Phase III trial targets advanced nose cancer, or nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC), with T cell immunotherapy..

    The first T cell infusion under the trial in the U.S. was carried out at City of Hope National Medical Center. Speaking about the trial, the site’s Principal Investigator Dr. Erminia Massarelli said, “We recognize the potential of Tessa’s VST technology to treat solid tumors and are working closely with the Tessa team to bring these innovative therapies to patients who currently have few treatment options. The first infusion was well tolerated, and we look forward to continuing this important work.”

    In addition to the Stanford Cancer Institute and City of Hope National Medical Center, other U.S. sites include UCSF Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Scott & White Health, as well as other centers of excellence in Massachusetts and California.

    Andrew Khoo, co-founder and CEO of Tessa Therapeutics, said, “Our partnership with seven clinical trial sites in the U.S. underscores our commitment not only to developing next-generation immunotherapies but also to making them accessible to NPC patients globally. The expansion of our Phase III NPC trial recruitment will allow us to further strengthen our operations and experience in the U.S.”

    Han Chong Toh, M.D., Tessa’s Chief Medical Officer, added, “Tessa’s VST technology holds the promise of becoming a treatment platform for a wide range of cancers, and we are actively expanding our portfolio to include some of the world’s major cancer indications. In addition to the Phase III NPC trial, we are currently conducting a Phase I trial for HPV-associated cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer in the U.S. which we aim to progress into Phase II in 2018.”

    The immunotherapy treatment under investigation, TT10, is based on Tessa’s proprietary Virus-specific T Cell (VST) platform. This treatment extracts T cells from the patient’s blood, enhances the immune cells’ anti-tumor potency, selectively expands them in the laboratory, and then infuses the cells back into the patient. The infused VSTs recognize and kill virus-associated tumor cells that they encounter.

    Learn more about this trial at Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02578641)

    Tessa Therapeutics’ NPC Phase III trial is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. In addition to the seven recruitment sites in the U.S., the company is enrolling advanced NPC patients in four other countries across 23 sites. Trial enrolment has now passed the half-way mark.

    Tessa’s Phase II trial on 35 patients reported the best survival outcome to-date for first-line treatment of advanced NPC when compared to historical clinical trials in similar settings. The two- and three-year overall survival rates were at 62.9 percent and 37.1 percent respectively, with no severe (Grade 3 and above) adverse effects observed during the immunotherapy phase. The treatment protocol for both the Phase II and the Phase III NPC trial consists of four cycles of gemcitabine and carboplatin followed by up to six infusions of Epstein-Barr Virus-Specific T cells.

    Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a cancer that originates in the nasopharynx, an area at the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Approximately 92,0001 new cases of NPC are diagnosed worldwide each year of which close to 75,0001 are from Asia and as many as 35,0001 from China.

    ENDS

    ***

    Media Contact
    Brunswick Group
    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

    Investor Contact
    Trout Group
    Pete Rahmer
    prahmer@troutgroup.com
    +1 646-378-2973

    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s core virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver autologous T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled the company to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

     

     

     

     

    Note:
    1. World Health Organization: GLOBOCAN 2015 Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Prevalence Worldwide in 2015

  • Tessa Therapeutics Closes USD 80 Million Financing Round Led by Temasek

    Date: 20 Dec 2017 | Download Press Release (PDF)

    • Proceeds to be used to further develop Tessa’s advanced solid tumor immunotherapy pipeline
    • Funding round reinforces Tessa’s position as an emerging leader in cellular immunotherapy with the vision of bringing transformational change to cancer therapy

     

    SINGAPORE – 20 December 2017 – Tessa Therapeutics, an international clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on T cell therapy for solid tumors, today announced the completion of a USD 80 million financing round led by Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, and joined by EDBI, Karst Peak Capital, Heliconia, Heritas and other investors.

    Andrew Khoo, co-founder and CEO of Tessa Therapeutics, commented: “We are very pleased with the success in this financing round which validates our work and continued progress in the development of Tessa’s Virus Specific T cell platform technology and clinical pipeline. Tessa plans to expand its global presence and advance next generation cellular therapies targeting a wide range of cancer indications.”

    Tessa will use the proceeds from this funding round to further advance its clinical pipeline and to bring new therapies, based on the company’s Virus Specific T cell (VST) platform, into clinical trials.

    Tessa’s VST technology is showing compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors. The company is currently conducting a multi-center Phase III trial targeting nasopharyngeal cancer and a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer. In recent years, Tessa has built robust operational and supply chain capabilities allowing the company to effectively deliver autologous T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool internationally.

    Virus-Specific T cells are produced through a selective expansion process that gives them the ability to infiltrate and survive in solid tumors long enough to attack and destroy them from within, a key differentiator to other cell therapies. Tessa’s VSTs migrate to the tumor site and kill cancer cells with precision leaving healthy cells unharmed, leading to high treatment efficacy and safety.


    About Tessa Therapeutics

    Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s core virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver autologous T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled the company to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

    For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessatherapeutics.com.

     

    About Temasek

    Incorporated in 1974, Temasek is an investment company headquartered in Singapore. Supported by 10 offices internationally, Temasek owns a S$275 billion (US$197b) portfolio as at 31 March 2017, mainly in Singapore and the rest of Asia.

    Our portfolio covers a broad spectrum of industries: financial services; telecommunications, media & technology; transportation & industrials; consumer & real estate; life sciences & agribusiness; as well as energy & resources. Our investment activities are guided by four investment themes and the long-term trends they represent: Transforming Economies; Growing Middle Income Populations; Deepening Comparative Advantages; and Emerging Champions.

    For more information on Temasek, please visit www.temasek.com.sg


    Media Contact
    Brunswick Group
    Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
    TessaTherapeutics@brunswickgroup.com
    +65 6426 8188

    Investor Contact
    Trout Group
    Pete Rahmer
    prahmer@troutgroup.com
    +1 646-378-2973