SAN DIEGO, Nov. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Eterna Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ERNA) (“Eterna” or the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company using advanced cell engineering technology to develop transformational new medicines, today announced it has entered into a sponsored research agreement with Michael Andreeff, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (“MD Anderson”).
Under the agreement, Dr. Andreeff will evaluate the capacity of Eterna’s gene-edited induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell therapeutic candidates to stimulate enhanced immune responses, including their effects on various aspects of T-cell mediated immunity, and to promote multilineage differentiation and hematopoietic regeneration in vivo. The Company anticipates that this work will accelerate the development of these therapeutic candidates for the treatment of various diseases including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and solid tumors. Dr. Andreeff is a member of Eterna’s Scientific Advisory Board.
“We are excited to announce this research agreement to advance a central pillar of Eterna’s pipeline: allogeneic cell therapies for the treatment of cancer,” said Matt Angel, Ph.D., Interim Chief Executive Officer of Eterna. “This work has the potential to accelerate and expand the applications of the allogeneic cell therapy platform that we obtained last year through our acquisition of Novellus Therapeutics.”
Eterna’s cells, which are made using mRNA-based cell reprogramming and gene editing methods, have been shown to possess enhanced immunomodulatory capacity as described by Hashimoto, et al. at the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy 2021 Annual Meeting, and Eterna believes the advantages of its cells include exceptional manufacturing consistency due to the use of a highly characterized clonal iPS cell source.
“Eterna’s completely non-viral approach to cell engineering avoids the risks inherent in other methods,” said Roger Sidhu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Eterna. “We are particularly interested in testing the ability of these cells to home to target tissues and enhance T-cell mediated immunity and hematopoietic regeneration.”
Dr. Andreeff receives compensation as a member of Eterna Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board, and this financial relationship has been disclosed to MD Anderson’s Conflict of Interest Committee in accordance with institutional policy.
Eterna is focused on developing advanced therapies using state-of-the-art mRNA cell engineering technology. Its mission is to realize the potential of cell engineering to provide patients with transformational new medicines. The Company has in-licensed a portfolio of over 100 patents covering key cell engineering technologies, including what it believes are the most widely used methods for therapeutic gene editing currently in clinical development. Eterna has multiple next-generation cell and gene-editing therapies in preclinical development for various indications. The Company plans to advance its technology and pipeline both internally and through strategic partnerships. For more information, please visit www.eternatx.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are any statements that are not statements of historical fact and may be identified by terminology such as “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “project,” “will” or other similar words and the negatives of such words. Forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied in any forward-looking statement as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, uncertainties related to: (i) the evolution of Eterna’s business model into a platform company focused on cellular, gene editing and cytokine programs; (ii) Eterna’s ability to successfully, cost-effectively and efficiently develop its technology and products; (iii) Eterna’s ability to successfully commence clinical trials of any products on a timely basis or at all; (iv) Eterna’s ability to successfully fund and manage the growth of its development activities; (v) Eterna ’s ability to obtain regulatory approvals of its products for commercialization; and (vi) uncertainties related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business and financial condition of Eterna, including on the timing and cost of its clinical trials. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements made in this communication speak only as of the date on which they were made, and Eterna does not undertake any obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date hereof, except as required by applicable law. Factors that may cause Eterna’s actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements contained in this press release are more fully disclosed in Eterna’s periodic public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors” in Eterna’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, as amended, as well as under similar headings in Eterna’s subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K.