Lyon, France, May 18, 2021 — Tollys, a biopharmaceutical company responsible for developing TL-532, the first anti-cancer immunotherapy based on a synthetic toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) specific agonist, today announces that it has been awarded the ‘Best-in-Class Therapeutic Innovation’ prize by the MATWIN international board.
This prize recognizes the medical importance and industrial development potential of Tollys’ TLR3 specific agonist, TL-532. The MATWIN program – which is supported by an historic partnership with 13 international laboratories including: Amgen, AstraZeneca, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Exact Sciences, Gilead, GSK, Nanostring Technologies, Novartis, Pierre Fabre, Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi, has given Tollys the opportunity for direct contact with the world’s leading experts in cancer treatment.
“We feel very honored to have been awarded this prize. We would like to thank MATWIN and the members of its international board for recognizing us in this way. The MATWIN program has provided us with the chance to discuss and confirm our scientific decisions and development plans with leading experts in the field, and enabled us to expand our network of potential partners,” explains Tollys CEO Vincent Charlon.
This positive evaluation from the MATWIN international board has given backing to some key parts of Tollys’ strategy. It is yet another step completed prior to the clinical trial, alongside recent recruitments in key positions, the establishment of a scientific advisory board and the approval of the preclinical program – via the European Medicine Agency’s Scientific Advice scheme.
- TLR3 is one of the preferred therapeutic targets in immuno-oncology. It has been clinically validated and can trigger the release of antigens in tumor cells, causing an immune response against the tumor. This separates TLR3 from other TLRs and PRRs (Pattern Recognition Receptors, such as RIG-I and Sting), which mostly act as adjuvants without a preferential apoptotic action on cancer cells
- TL-532 is the only synthetic specific TLR3 agonist. This sets it apart from other TLR3 agonists tested to date
- TL-532 has significant potential. TL-532’s capacity to trigger an immune response against the patient’s specific tumor antigens could create an immune response in patients without pre-existing anti-tumor immunity; significantly increasing the percentage of patients who might benefit from checkpoint inhibitors (PD1 and PDL1 inhibitors)
- A two-stage development strategy has been put in place. TL-532 will initially undergo clinical testing with intratumoral delivery. Tollys has already completed major validation steps and will continue its studies into possible systemic delivery methods for TL-532. These will be clinically tested during a second stage
TL-532 is a specific TLR3 agonist with a triple mechanism of action: it induces 1) the death by apoptosis of cancer cells, leading to the release of tumor specific antigens, 2) activation of the immune system to mount a specific T-cell response against the tumor antigens and 3) a tumor microenvironment switch by producing cytokines and chemokines which are unfavorable to tumor development. The result is the immunogenic death of cancer cells and an auto-vaccination preventing the recurrence of cancer.
While the TLR3 receptor is a validated cancer target, TLR3 agonists have yet to reach the market. TL-532 is the first synthetic specific TLR3 agonist with a defined – and patented – double-stranded RNA sequence. As such, TL-532 has the potential to be best-in-class and first-to-market.
Tollys is a biopharmaceutical company focused on innate immunity, particularly on the biology and modulation of the TLR3 receptor. Tollys is pioneering TL-532, a new immunotherapy to treat various types of cancer.
Tollys discovered and patented a family of TLR3 agonists and selected TL-532 as its lead-candidate. TL-532 is a structurally defined double-stranded RNA, produced synthetically and highly specific to the TLR3 receptor. The specificity for the TLR3 receptor and its defined 70 base pair sequence differentiates TL-532 from all other TLR3 agonists tested to date in clinical trials.
Founded in 2015 by senior scientists from the leading European Cancer Research Center in Lyon and the Centre Léon Bérard, Tollys is located in Lyon, France. The company has raised a total of €6M ($7.1M) from private investors and received a grant of €1.5M ($1.8M) from Bpifrance.