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Treadwell Therapeutics Acquires T Cell Therapy Firm TCRyption

NEW YORK – Treadwell Therapeutics said on Friday that it has acquired the firm TCRyption, bringing its T-cell receptor (TCR)-based autologous therapies into its pipeline.

With the acquisition of TCRyption, a TIO Bioventures portfolio company, Treadwell also gains access to TCRyption's platform for developing cancer therapies, which is designed to identify TCRs that can recognize epitopes regardless of their haplotype. In the past, autologous TCR-based cell therapies for cancer have been limited to TCRs that recognize epitopes with specific haplotypes — namely HLA-A2. According to Treadwell, the HLA-A2 restricted epitopes, most notably NY-ESO-1, are well represented in Caucasian patient populations, and therapies against these targets can lead to durable remissions in these cases, but the restriction can limit patient eligibility as well as commercial opportunity.

Using TCRyption's platform, Treadwell hopes to identify TCRs beyond the HLA-A2 restriction, including class I and II alleles prevalent in Asian patient populations.

"We believe that the TCRypt platform will allow us to move beyond the narrow focus on HLA-A2 restricted epitopes, and greatly expand the patient populations that can be addressed by this approach," Michael Tusche, Treadwell Therapeutics' co-CEO, said in a statement, adding that the firm hopes to bring several of these TCR therapies into clinical studies for multiple tumor types beginning in early 2023.

Beyond its TCR-based autologous cell therapy programs, New York City-based Treadwell Therapeutics is also focused on developing several targeted agents in its pipeline, including its PLK4 kinase inhibitor, CFI-400945, and its TTK inhibitor, CFI-402257, as treatments for various cancer types including prostate and breast cancers.