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January 18, 2021

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January 18, 2021

HSA approval for Phase 1 IND clinical trial for Lion TCR’s lead product LioCyx-M to characterize changes in liver cancer tumor microenvironment

SINGAPORE – January 18, 2021 – Lion TCR announced today that Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has granted approval for our local open label, single-arm, single center Phase 1 Investigational New Drug (IND) clinical trial application to further analyze liver cancer tumor microenvironment (TME).

Study name: Phase 1 Safety and Tolerability Study of Redirected HBV-Specific T-Cells in Patients with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma (SAFE-T-HBV)
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04745403
Protocol No.: LTCR-HCC-3-3
Certificate number: CTC2100001
Approval date: 04 January 2021
Product: LioCyx-M (Autologous T-cells transfected with mRNA encoding HBV antigen-specific TCR)

Lion TCR has pioneered the use of mRNA to engineer T cells as an anti-tumor therapy. Our lead product LioCyx-M consists of a preparation of autologous T-cells transfected with mRNA encoding HBV antigen-specific TCR. These HBV-TCR engineered T cells are able to transiently recognize and lyse HBV-expressing hepatocellular carcinoma cells.  We have previously studied the safety and preliminary efficacy of LioCyx-M both in patients with recurrent HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) post liver transplant [1] and in patients with advanced primary HBV-related HCC [2].

In this new study, we aim to determine, in unresectable patients with HBV-related primary HCC, the capability of LioCyx-M to not only directly lyse HCC cells expressing HBV antigens but also to alter HBV-related HCC microenvironment.  Safety, HCC tumor volume reduction and alteration of tumor microenvironment will be sequentially monitor in treated patients. Preliminary results have suggested that LioCyx-M therapeutic efficacy might be linked to its ability to alter the tumor microenvironment (convert “cold tumours” to “hot tumours”). Hot tumours are characterized by the proinflammatory cytokines production and T-cell infiltration and are linked to longer survival. With a better understanding of the mechanism of action of LioCyx-M, we might be able to exploit LioCyx-M treatment to favor a more durable therapeutic efficacy in combination with other immunotherapy strategies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

This trial will be conducted at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in collaboration with SGH Senior Consultant, Dr Thinesh Lee Krishnamoorthy and Professor Antonio Bertoletti from Duke-NUS Medicine School.

References
1. Chen W, Cheng J, Zheng X, et al 273 Phase I study of LioCyx-M, autologous hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific T cell receptor (TCR) T-cells, in recurrent HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) post-liver transplantation. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2020;8:doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-SITC2020.0273
2. Wang F, Meng F, Jin J, et al 272 Use of LioCyx-M, autologous hepatitis B virus (HBV)-Specific T cell receptor (TCR) T-cells, in advanced HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer 2020;8:doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-SITC2020.0272

About Lion TCR
Lion TCR is a Singapore based clinical-stage biotechnology company, focused on the development of T cell receptor (TCR)-T cell therapy against life-threatening viral infections and viral-related cancers pertinent in Asia.

About LioCyx-M
LioCyx-M, including several well-established product derivatives, are autologous T cells modified to express HBV-specific TCR. These modified T cells have been shown to be able to lyse HBV-infected HCC cells upon target recognition in in vivo pre-clinical studies and in patients (Koh et al, Mol. Ther. Nucleic Acids, 2013; Kah et al, J. Clin. Invest., 2017; Tan et al, Gastroenterology 2019).