A U.S. patent has been granted to Achilles Therapeutics plc for the treatment of patients with an immunotherapy, including vaccine, antibody and autologous T cell therapy approaches, targeting clonal neoantigens identified using the Achilles Clonality Engine (ACE).
ACE is a proprietary method for determining clonality of patient-specific mutations that drives the PELEUS bioinformatics platform. Clonal neoantigens are original mutations formed early in tumor evolution that are expressed on all cancer cells and absent from healthy tissue.
“The specific characteristics of clonal neoantigens have led to their emergence as a promising new class of targets for immunotherapies. Historically, identifying these targets has been challenging, given the high genetic complexity of the samples analyzed. With the now-patented ACE method, the PELEUS bioinformatics platform, which is built on the findings of the TRACERx (TRAcking Cancer Evolution through therapy (Rx)) study, rigorously identifies clonal neoantigens from individual patients to serve as targets for precision cancer immunotherapies,” said Sergio Quezada, chief scientific officer of Achilles Therapeutics.
“This patent confirms that our data-driven method of identifying personalized clonal mutations is the first of its kind and has potential different modalities including vaccines, antibodies and autologous T cell therapies.”
The patented technology is based on a statistical framework to determine the probability that a mutation is clonal through the analysis of a patient’s sequencing data. This novel approach was developed and optimized using clinical data from TRACERx, the largest data set of its kind including genomics from nearly 800 patients. By using this approach immunotherapies can be developed to target these clonal neoantigens, which have been shown to be correlated with responses in patients treated with checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing AI-powered precision T-cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to the individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell.
The company has two ongoing phase I/IIa trials, the CHIRON trial in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the THETIS trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma.