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  • 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.

     

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    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.

     

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    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.

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    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.