Etcembly has announced the successful prediction and optimization of multiple T cell receptor (TCR) assets for targeting leukemias and solid tumors.
The company’s machine learning platform EMLy (Etcembly machine learning) enables AI based engineering of novel TCRs from the complete theoretical TCR repertoire. The unification of machine-learning-based optimization with empirical validation has facilitated the rapid decoding of disease relevant T cell repertoires giving rise to TCRs primed for the clinic in half the development timeline.
The company has also closed a financing round, bringing on board a new international investor, Singapore VC iGlobe Partners. Financial details were not disclosed.
Etcembly’s CEO and co-founder Michelle Teng said: “Finding TCRs without undesirable off target effects is a big pain point in immunotherapy. The time-consuming process of exhaustive screening for each lead candidate made us rethink how we can fast track TCRs in a completely different way, so we explored the idea of engineering TCRs in silico.
“The platform is applicable to multiple modalities and the company has already successfully engineered TCRs for its internal program ready for cell therapies and we are now moving into the biologics space. I’m delighted that iGlobe Partners has recognised the power of our innovative in silico approach and joined our investor syndicate.’
Etcembly help companies to develop immunotherapies
Etcembly’s CTO and co-founder Jacob Hurst added: “EMLy can adeptly interrogate our massive database of TCR repertoires. Not only can we expertly find new TCRs, but we can also re-engineer existing TCR based assets to improve affinity and potency. Importantly, our approach is haplotype independent, which means we can help companies with the Holy Grail of developing immunotherapies that have global therapeutic value. We see EMLy as the oracle of immunotherapy for our pharmaceutical partners.”
Etcembly’s board director, and founder of Immunocore and Adaptimmune, Bent Jakobsen, added: “Immunotherapy has advanced massively as a therapeutic approach since I founded Immunocore and Adaptimmune. It now brings great benefit to patients and society and holds immense promise for further developments.
“TCRs may prove to be the most important component for realizing this potential, but deciphering their specificities is amongst the most complex challenges in biology. Etcembly’s platform has now broken the last barrier by enabling sourcing from the full repertoire of possible TCRs. Put simply, EMLy enables drug hunters to see further, move faster, and be more successful.”