ERYCAPS allows to encapsulate drugs into red blood cells (RBCs). Erytech is exploring the use of this platform for developing cancer immunotherapies (ERYMMUNE) and enzyme therapies (ERYZYME). Erytech’s lead product eryaspase, an RBC-encapsulated L-asparaginase that disturbs the amino acid metabolism of cancer cells, is in a pivotal Phase 3 trial for pancreatic cancer and a Phase 2 trial for triple negative breast cancer.
Scientists at Erytech were the first to show in vivo that antigen-loaded RBCs can modulate immune function by inducing protein-specific tolerance and generating an antigen-specific immune response resulting in tumour growth control.SQZ, which has a pipeline of antigen presenting cells, will capitalise on these findings combining both platforms to develop drugs targeting multiple disorders that induce antigen-specific immune responses. SQZ’s immune tolerance programmes include tolerising antigen carriers (TACs) for type 1 diabetes, as well as TACs engineered to treat patients with additional immune disorders.
“Both ERYTECH and SQZ have made great strides to date in engineering cells for immune modulation, and we are excited to combine these advances to potentially create new, more powerful treatment options for those suffering from devastating conditions,”
said Armon Sharei, Ph.D., founder and CEO of SQZ Biotech.
“The combination of SQZ’s cell engineering capabilities with ERYTECH’s pioneering work could create a new class of disease modifying, allogeneic immune therapies for patients.”