REHOVOT, Israel, Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Biomica, an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing innovative microbiome-based therapeutics, and a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ: EVGN) (TASE: EVGN), announced today positive preliminary results from recently completed animal studies in its immuno-oncology program, wherein anti-tumor activity was tested in mice following treatment with Biomica's rationally designed bacterial consortia BMC121 & BMC127.
It has been widely described in the scientific literature that gut microbiome could affect the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy, especially immune-checkpoint inhibitors involving blockade of PD-1 or PD-L1 and CTLA-4. The study, which is part of Biomica's immuno-oncology program, examined the effect of addition of Biomica's rationally designed bacterial consortia BMC121 & BMC127 on the response to checkpoint inhibitor (anti-PD1) therapy in a mouse cancer model. BMC121 & BMC127 bacterial consortia were identified & designed based on data obtained from cancer patients who displayed varying degrees of response to immune-checkpoint inhibitors therapy. The specific strains selected for the consortia were designed to trigger beneficial anti-tumor immune-modulatory processes. Identification and selection of the bacteria for BMC121 & BMC127 consortia were done using PRISM, a high-resolution microbiome analysis platform and a detailed functional genomic analysis.
In the study, Biomica's drug candidates were tested in vivo in combination with checkpoint inhibitor therapy (anti-PD1) using a mouse cancer model. BMC121 and BMC127 demonstrated improved anti-tumor activity compared to checkpoint inhibitor therapy alone also indicating validation of the computational predictions.
Improved antitumor activity following the administration of BMC121 & BMC127, compared to treatment with checkpoint inhibitor therapy alone, was manifested in a number of parameters. These parameters include higher percentage of responders, greater tumor growth inhibition (%TGI) and increased antitumor immune responses, including higher numbers of tumor-infiltrating immunocytes, higher levels of tumor infiltrating CD8 T-lymphocytes, and higher levels of intra-tumor inflammation, indicating an increased anti-tumor immune reaction. The results of these in vivo studies are the first demonstration that treatment with BMC121 & BMC127 may increase the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors therapy and improve anti-tumor activity also indicating validation of the computational predictions.
Prof. Yehuda Ringel, Biomica CSO, stated: "The results of these in vivo studies are the first demonstration of the beneficial potential of BMC121 & BMC127 in cancer immunotherapy. We look forward to conducting broader studies to further validate our computational mechanism-of-action predictions at the beginning of next year."
Dr. Elran Haber, Biomica CEO, stated: "I am very pleased with these encouraging results that show early promise of improving the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors therapy. Although immunotherapies hold great promise in treating cancer, only a portion of patients respond to the available immunotherapy drugs. Our drug candidates were designed to provide specific microbial functional capabilities to trigger beneficial immuno-stimulatory anti-tumor activity, ultimately leading to better patient response to immune-checkpoint inhibitors therapy."
Biomica is an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing innovative microbiome-based therapeutics utilizing a dedicated Computational Predictive Biology platform (CPB), licensed from Evogene. Biomica aims to identify and characterize disease-related microbiome entities, and to develop novel therapeutics based on these understandings. The company is focused on the development of therapies for antibiotic resistant bacteria, immuno-oncology, and microbiome-related gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
Biomica is a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ: EVGN) (TASE: EVGN). For more information, please visit www.biomicamed.com.
About Evogene Ltd.:
Evogene (NASDAQ: EVGN) (TASE: EVGN) is a leading biotechnology company developing novel products for major life science markets through the use of a unique computational predictive biology (CPB) platform incorporating deep scientific understandings and advanced computational technologies. Today, this platform is utilized by the Company to discover and develop innovative products in the main following areas (via subsidiaries or divisions): ag-chemicals, ag-biologicals, seed traits, human microbiome based therapeutics and medical cannabis. Each subsidiary or division establishes its product pipeline and go-to-market, as demonstrated in their collaborations with world-leading companies such as BASF, Bayer, Corteva, and ICL. For more information, please visit www.evogene.com.
About Evogene's Computational Predictive Biology (CPB) Platform
Evogene's CPB platform has been designed for the in silico (computational) prediction and prioritization of genes, proteins, microbes and small molecules based on multiple attributes that will be key to successful development and commercialization of novel life-science based products. Successfully addressing these multiple product attributes at the beginning of the discovery process, rather than one at a time during the development phase, is expected to reduce the time and cost of a program, but much more importantly, increase the probability of reaching a successful outcome. Furthermore, the CPB capabilities are also directed to optimization of products and product candidates, based on computational and experimental results.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" relating to future events. These statements may be identified by words such as "may", "could", "expects", "intends", "anticipates", "plans", "believes", "scheduled", "estimates" or words of similar meaning. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, describe opinions about future events, involve certain risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and are not guarantees of future performance. Therefore, actual future results, performance or achievements of Evogene and its subsidiaries may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, many of which beyond the control of Evogene and its subsidiaries, including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in Evogene's reports filed with the appropriate securities authority. Evogene and its subsidiaries disclaim any obligation or commitment to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments or changes in expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions.
 Zitvogel et al. 2018, Science 359 (6382)
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