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  • 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