Chimera Appoints New CEO, Wins AFCR BRACE Award, and Accelerates towards the Clinic

Company appoints Vlad Hogenhuis, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer

Chimera selected as the winner of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research’s (AFCR) 2021 BRACE Award Venture Competition

The company has demonstrated compelling preclinical proof-of-concept of its lead candidate, CBIO-007, in four solid tumor models supporting the advancement into IND-enabling studies


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 28, 2022 – Chimera Bioengineering (“Chimera”) a biotherapeutics company building next-generation CAR-T therapeutics focused primarily on solid tumors, today announced the appointment of Vlad Hogenhuis, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Previously, Dr. Hogenhuis was Chief Operating Officer at Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals and Head of Specialty Pharma and Oncology at GSK. The Company also announced it won AFCR’s 2021 BRACE Award Venture Competition, in recognition of Chimera’s breakthrough science for the development of transformative cancer therapeutics. Chimera’s lead candidate, CBIO-007, is a conditionally armed CAR-T cell therapy in preclinical development as a potential treatment for major solid tumors, such as lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, prostate, and ovarian cancers. CBIO-007 was generated from Chimera’s proprietary GOLD Platform(TM) technology, which creates conditional, location-specific activation of tumor microenvironment (TME)-modifying payloads by CAR-T cell therapies.


“When I was evaluating opportunities, I was immediately struck by the elegance and enormous potential impact of Chimera’s approach to enhance CAR-T efficacy while minimizing their toxicity,” said Dr. Hogenhuis. “We are thrilled to have won AFCR’s BRACE Award, which has not only connected us to investors and advisors, it also has provided key funding and validation of our approach and current dataset. We’ve generated compelling preclinical data confirming delivery of potent immunomodulatory payloads to solid tumors without systemic exposure, and this data gives us confidence that Chimera’s GOLD Platform technology can unlock the potential of CAR-T to treat a broad range of cancers, including solid tumors.”


AFCR’s BRACE Award is a first-of-its-kind program for early stage oncology technology companies focused on Asian-prevalent cancers. With this honor, AFCR, Bluedot Bio, and other new investors contributed $7.5 million of new capital, joining Chimera’s existing investors, including Viking Global Investors, Founders Fund, and Illumina Accelerator, to bring the company’s total amount raised to $26 million, since the company was founded in 2015. Since that time, Chimera has established a pipeline of therapies from its proprietary GOLD Platform technology, which creates conditional, location-specific activation of tumor microenvironment (TME)-modifying payloads by CAR-T therapies. The company’s preclinical dataset on its lead candidate, CBIO-007, in pancreatic, prostate, and triple negative breast cancer xenograft tumor models, demonstrates that CBIO-007 efficiently eliminates tumors, while unarmed CAR-T cells are unable to control them.


AFCR’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., said, “AFCR’s BRACE Award Venture Competition is designed to accelerate the commercialization of innovative cancer research discoveries for cancer patients, in Asia and worldwide, and we believe Chimera’s novel approach to spatially controlling CAR-T cells, for safer, more potent therapies, has the potential to improve the treatment of a broad range of cancers from hematologic cancers to solid tumors.”


“During the evaluation of Chimera for AFCR’s BRACE Award, I was impressed with Chimera’s insightful approach to counteract the suppressive tumor microenvironment by leveraging natural mechanisms in the engineering of T cells to selectively deliver a payload only when they are activated by tumor cells,” said Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical school, who led the committee for the AFCR’s BRACE Award Venture Competition and founded several biotechs, including Cell Genesys, Abgenix (acquired by Amgen) and Millennium (acquired by Takeda). “Furthermore, Chimera’s initial data in preclinical models provides support for the ability of their GOLD Platform technology to direct the curative potential of CAR-T therapies to treating solid tumors, which continues to be a leading cause of death around the world.”


About Chimera’s GOLD(TM) Platform Technology

Chimera’s GOLD Platform harnesses programmable, RNA-based gene regulation circuits inherent to immune cells to control CAR-T therapies conditionally armed with therapeutic payloads that target the tumor microenvironment (TME). Chimera applies its proprietary GOLD Platform to engineer potent CAR-T cell therapies for solid tumors that target the immunosuppressive TME, which has historically limited conventional CAR-T therapeutic efficacy. In preclinical studies, the GOLD Platform spatially restricts to the site of solid tumors the delivery of high levels of powerful therapeutic payloads by armed CAR-T cells, weakening the TME and maximizing CAR-T potency. Specifically, Chimera demonstrated in head-to head preclinical experiments with unarmed as well as a constitutively armed IL-12 payload that GOLD-controlled CAR-Ts eliminated xenograft tumors from prostate, pancreas, and triple negative breast cancer cell lines. Chimera’s chimeric receptor engagement-dependent payload delivery approach is designed to prevent toxic, systemic payload exposures that can decrease the therapeutic index of armed CAR-T cells.


About Chimera Bioengineering

At Chimera Bioengineering, our mission is to improve the lives of cancer patients by engineering innovative cell therapies that are potent and safe. It is our goal to translate the boundless promise of this new therapeutic class into cures for cancer patients. We believe Chimera’s GOLD Platform achieves more control, less toxicity, and greater efficacy for next generation engineered cell therapies. Chimera Bioengineering is a privately held biotechnology company located in Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS in South San Francisco, California. Find out more at www.chimera.bio.


Contacts

Company: Vlad Hogenhuis, M.D., CEO, Chimera Bioengineering, info@chimera.bio

Media: Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., Little Dog Communications Inc., jessica@litldog.com, +1.858.344.8091