Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Case Western licenses plant virus immunotherapy to Mosaic ImmunoEngineering

By David Schwartz
Published: May 11th, 2022

Case Western Reserve University has inked a licensing deal with Mosaic ImmunoEngineering, Inc. a development-stage biotech company focused on novel immunotherapies to treat cancer, for oncology treatments based on cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), the core technology behind the company’s lead human immunotherapy candidate, MIE-101, and other applications of the platform technology. The patented technology was discovered at CWRU and Dartmouth College.

The agreement grants Mosaic exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize oncology treatments based on CPMV.

“Along with providing world-class research in many areas, Case Western Reserve University and Dartmouth College are striving to translate these exciting discoveries into products and therapies that can make a difference in the lives of patients with life threatening illnesses,” said Wayne Hawthorne, senior licensing manager at Case Western. “We encourage our faculty to conduct basic research which can become the basis of discoveries that have direct application to clinical needs such as the technology that Mosaic is seeking to advance.”

Mosaic’s lead therapeutic candidate, MIE-101, is derived from the cowpea mosaic virus, a plant virus that does not infect humans or animals but can stimulate immune responses, as demonstrated in preclinical models of cancer including melanoma, breast, ovarian, brain and colon.

Unlike oncolytic viruses that work by directly invading and destroying cancer cells , MIE-101 represents a unique that has been shown to engage multiple pattern-recognition receptors on host immune cells in the tumor that have evolved to detect foreign invaders. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that these immune cells then attack the tumor, while also producing molecules that attract, activate and train additional immune cells to recognize and fight the tumor, while also attacking tumors in other areas of the body. MIE-101 has demonstrated single agent activity in preclinical tumor models and in canines with naturally occurring tumors. It has also shown enhanced antitumor effects when combined with immune checkpoint treatments and other standard cancer therapies.

“This licensed technology is an important component of our intellectual property portfolio, protecting the development of our lead CPMV-based immunotherapy, MIE-101, including treatments for both human and companion animals,” said Steven King, president and CEO of Mosaic. “We have noted recent activity in the intra-tumoral immunotherapy space and believe that CPMV may offer distinct advantages over other approaches currently in development.

Under the license agreement, Mosaic will make development and regulatory milestone payments to Case Western and also pay tiered royalties on net sales of licensed products.

Source: AccessWire

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