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ALKemist Bio announces Sponsored Research Agreement with Boston Children’s Hospital and secures Exclusive License for Groundbreaking Cancer Therapy

Turin, Italy, July 2nd , 2024 - ALKemist Bio, a biotechnology company established earlier this year with the support of Claris Ventures and other contributors, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Boston Children’s Hospital for the patent rights to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize ALK-specific T Cell Receptor (TCR) based therapies. Along with this license, the parties have additionally entered into a two-year sponsored research agreement partnership that could offer new hope for patients battling these aggressive malignancies.

ALKemist Bio emerges from the groundbreaking research conducted by Professor Roberto Chiarle, who is affiliated with both the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC) of Turin and is the director of the Division of haemolymphopathology at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan. Throughout his career, Professor Chiarle has been dedicated to unveiling the crucial mechanisms behind ALK-mediated transformation in tumors, striving to define and validate novel approaches for targeting ALK in such cancers with particular focus on immunological therapies.

The announcement of these exclusive license and accompanying sponsored research agreements comes on the heels of ALKemist Bio's successful launch and a €6.9 million investment round led by Claris Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to supporting biotech startups from the Italian scientific ecosystem. Other investors joining the round included the Turin-based venture firm LIFTT and private investors from Club Degli Investitori, Simon Fiduciaria, the trust hub of Ersel Group, and Italian Angels for Growth. Claris Ventures worked closely with the Technology Innovation and Development Office (TIDO) at Boston Children’s Hospital to put both of these agreements in place and Irene Abrams, Vice President for Technology Development & New Ventures, Boston Children’s Hospital, shared her thoughts on the development, stating “We are excited to see Professor Chiarle’s innovative discoveries being translated into novel medicines for patients facing the challenge of ALK-mediated lung cancer.  This collaboration brings much needed support for this important project.”

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Newly launched TCR company ALKemist Bio announces a €6.9M Investment Round to develop first-in-class TCR Cell Therapy for ALK-Positive Tumors

Turin, Italy, December 21st 2023 — ALKemist Bio emerges from the research conducted by Roberto Chiarle, Professor of pathology at the University of Turin and Director of the haemolymphopathology Department of the European Institute of Oncology, in Milan. The newly launched biotechnology company is based in Turin, Italy, and develops cellular immunotherapies based on engineering immune system cells with T-cell receptors (TCR-T cells), immune receptors that enable the recognition and elimination of cancer cells expressing the ALK oncogene (from Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase) in patients with ALK-positive tumors.

The launch of ALKemist Bio is announced together with a €6.9 million investment round led by Claris Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to supporting biotech startups emerging from the Italian scientific ecosystem. The round is joined by the Turin-based venture firm LIFTT and private investors from Club Degli Investitori, Simon Fiduciaria, the trust hub of Ersel Group, and Italian Angels for Growth. Professor Roberto Chiarle, scientific founder of ALKemist Bio, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “The launch of ALKemist Bio represents a critical milestone in our journey toward providing effective, personalized treatments for ALK-positive cancers. With the invaluable support of our investors, we are aiming to make a significant impact on patients with ALK-positive cancer”.

ALK-positive cancers constitute a subset of aggressive malignancies affecting various organs, including lung cancer, lymphomas, and rare pediatric cancers. These malignancies present significant challenges due to the frequent acquisition of resistance to the standard of care, indicating the need for innovative therapies. The cellular immuno-based therapy approach being developed by ALKemist Bio aims to unleash the patient’s immune system by generating T cells engineered to recognize and destroy cancer cells harboring the ALK oncogene, offering a tailored and potentially curative treatment strategy.

"The therapeutic strategy proposed by Prof. Chiarle is in line with our commitment to starting new companies that aspire to have a transformative impact on patients' lives," says Pietro Puglisi, Partner at Claris Ventures. "We are excited to support ALKemist Bio's journey from its inception and to be able to contribute to the development of an innovative approach for patients with oncogenic ALK mutations" adds Lola Buono, Associate at Claris Ventures.

“LIFTT's investment underlines our confidence in the transformative potential of ALKemist Bio's T-cell receptor cell therapies. By supporting this innovative project, we intend to contribute to the advancement of personalized and autologous treatments and offer hope to patients suffering from cancers caused by the ALK oncogene. This is in line with our commitment to invest in impactful solutions that push the boundaries of medical progress in the oncology space.” – remarks Francesca Mongardi, Project Manager at LIFTT.

"The birth and growth of ALKemist Bio represents an exciting and significant moment in the field of biotechnology and the fight against ALK-positive cancers. We are proud to support this innovative journey" said Mauro Ferrari and Giorgio Barberis, members of the Club degli Investitori and club deal representatives in this project. “The investment in ALKemist Bio underlines our ongoing commitment to supporting innovation and frontier therapeutic solutions. The members of Club degli Investitori who participated, jointly with other private investors, in this deal through the Simon Fiduciaria, are excited to be part of this important initiative and look forward to ALKemist Bio's progress in bringing new and potentially life-saving therapies to patients with ALK-positive cancers” they add.

“With passion and determination, we are investing in the future with ALKemist Bio, to defeat ALK-positive tumors and bring hope to those in need. Today, the life expectancy of ALK-positive tumor patients is decidedly limited, with ALKemist Bio we are challenging this status quo, to offer a new life expectancy to those who fight this relentless disease” – adds Christian Marchesi and Alessandro Lattuada, Champion IAG in this investment.

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