Who we are
TILT Biotherapeutics Ltd is a leading company globally working in the area of enabling tumor T-cell therapy with oncolytic viruses. The company’s patented technology involves utilization of oncolytic viruses for enhancement of tumor T-cell therapy.
Akseli Hemminki founded TILT in 2013 and serves currently as the CEO and Chairman of the Board. Professor Hemminki and colleagues have published over 200 scientific papers and treated over 300 patients with different oncolytic viruses. He is supported by multidisciplinary board and TILT’s investors include Lifeline Ventures Ltd, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), the European Commission, and business angels.
The scientific advisory board is composed of world’s leading scientific experts relevant to TILT’s technology and the operational team is built of experienced and motivated personnel of 7 people. TILT Biotherapeutics is based in Helsinki.
TILT’s technology involves utilization of oncolytic viruses for enhancement of tumor T-cell therapy. Initial embodiments of the technology will be used to enable tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL), chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) and checkpoint inhibiting antibody therapy of solid tumors. The lead candidate is a preclinical stage TNFα/IL2 armed oncolytic adenovirus (TILT-123 or Ad5/3-E2F-delta24-hTNFα-IRES-hIL2). GMP production is ongoing and the first phase I clinical trial is aimed to start early 2018. The first trial will take place in Europe and address metastatic melanoma in patients receiving TILs and TILT-123. Additional trials in other solid tumor indications are planned in combination with TILT-123 and a checkpoint modulator or a CAR-T product.
Every third person has a lifetime risk of getting cancer and the cancer incidence is growing fast. Despite of treatment progresses, over 8 million people die of cancer every year. Solid tumors, for which TILT is developing treatments constitute over 90% of all cancers. Current treatments of metastatic disease lack curative potential and limited treatment options are available. TILT technology can be used in most type of metastatic solid tumors and thus there are thousands of patient candidates for therapy annually.
In spite of the recent approvals of targeted therapies and checkpoint modulating antibodies, the challenge remains to extend treatment benefits to the 50% of patients who do not receive long term benefits from available drugs. Oncolytic viruses may offer further treatments to these patients. The lead product of TILT is an armed oncolytic adenovirus modified in various ways, to allow its use for enhancing T-cell therapy. The product is differentiating in many aspects. For example it is armed with the most potent cytokines, adenovirus is the most immunogenic virus type and the easier to upscale manufacturing, it is genetically modified for improved access to cancer cells, and for improved safety with double control for cancer selective replication. Although there are several competing technologies, TILT-123 is one of the only products which has been specifically designed for T-cell therapies and checkpoint inhibiting antibodies in mind. In addition, TILT’s product is able to access distant metastases by vascular route.
Overall, the cancer market represents the biggest and the fastest growing part of the pharmaceutical market segments with sales of 100 billion USD annually. The first so called cancer immunotherapies (e.g. ipilimumab, nivolumumab, pembrolizumab, T-VEC), were approved within the last couple of years, but have already resulted in blockbuster sales. Overall the cancer immunotherapy market is expected to grow at least 30% annually, representing tens of billions of dollars after the mid-2020s, when TILT-123 could be approved. The first ever oncolytic virus (Imlygic, T-VEC, Amgen) received its FDA and EMA regulatory approval in 2015 for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. This has increased the activity of big pharma and investors in the oncolytic virus space, further improving the market potential of TILT.
What we are looking for
TILT’s objective is to expand its current investor base to secure capital for Phase I/II clinical trials and to establish collaborations with companies having synergic technologies in the immuno-oncology field, notably those with checkpoint inhibitors or CAR-T.