Accurexa will partner with StemImmune to develop its stem cell-mediated cancer immunotherapy, the companies said today, through a collaboration whose value was not disclosed.

The collaboration will marry Accurexa’s methods of delivering targeted therapies with StemImmune's immunotherapy. It is designed to use a patient's own stem cells to target cancer by delivering a proprietary anticancer payload directly to the tumor cells, while sparing the patient's healthy cells.

“The patient’s immune system cannot recognize and react to the 'Trojan Horse' stem cells, because they are the patient’s own,” StemImmune states on its website.

To date, StemImmune said today, it has treated 25 cancer patients with its technology in a Phase I clinical trial that showed the stem cell-mediated immunotherapy to be safe and well-tolerated with no adverse events reported. The immunotherapy also demonstrated potential antitumor activity that supports further investigation, the company added.

StemImmune was founded in 2014 by Aladár Szalay, Ph.D., the company’s CEO and chairman. He founded Genelux in 2001, and served as its chairman, president, CSO, and CEO from 2001 until 2014.

Accurexa specializes in developing neurological therapies capable of being delivered directly into specific regions of the brain.

“[StemImmune’s] approach is in line with the mission of Accurexa to directly deliver therapies to targeted areas in the treatment of cancer and other disorders, and adds a clinical-stage oncology program to our pipeline,” George Yu, M.D., Accurexa’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Also in that pipeline is the BranchPoint device for local delivery of therapeutics such as stem cells or gene therapy, and ACX-031, a treatment designed to deliver to brain tumor sites the generic, FDA-approved, first-line chemotherapy drug temozolomide as adjunctive therapy to another chemotherapeutic, bis-chloroethylnitrosourea (BCNU). Oral temozolomide is indicated for adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme concomitantly with radiotherapy, and then as maintenance treatment.

Accurexa reasons that its delivery methods are an improvement over the current oral standard of care for delivering temozolomide to tumor sites, which is limited by the blood–brain barrier. Oral temozolomide increases patient survival by 2.5 months from a 12.1-month median overall survival.

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