Cellis platform exploits immune cells (mainly macrophages) loaded with a drug (MDC, Macrophage-Drug Conjugate) as smart therapy targeting solid tumors of unmet medical needs.

Cellis team has discovered a new physiological phenomenon that have been named TRAIN (TRAnsfer if Iron-binding proteiN) that is exploited in the MDC technology.

Using this technology we may deliver various anticancer compounds: radioisotopes, labels, drugs, small molecules and in this way either treat or diagnose tumors.

Macrophages naturally migrate to the hypoxia avascular regions of the tumor and unload conjugated cargo. These regions are normally unreachable with the current therapies and are responsible for regrowth of the tumor. Thus, our MDC reaches the tumor regions unreachable for any other treatment option.

Solid tumor after i.v. injection of: MDC loaded with Fn-64Cu – their distribution inside the tumor is marked as purple color; and [18F]FMISO (green color) – hypoxia marker. Co-localization of these two colors confirms MDC targeting to hypoxic tumor regions. This picture was obtained using PET/SPECT/CT technology.

MDC are unmodified genetically and their solid tumor targeting is based on their physiological attributes (additionally increased by specific stimulation) and a biological phenomenon (TRAIN) discovered by our scientists.

MDC show high ability in tumor homing and instant unloading features making delivery of selected compounds very efficient. This makes MDC an interesting approach in both oncology and inflammation.

Currently available oncology treatments involve general administration of chemotherapeutics, application of monoclonal antibodies specifically targeting tumor antigens, immunomodulating agents or modified CAR-T cells. Many different approaches used up to date showed their limitations – lack of specificity, severe adverse effects due to broad presence of targeted antigens in normal tissues, low tumor penetration particularly to the hypoxic regions, low targeting and penetration to metastases.

Cellis MDC technology aims to solve these unmet medical needs.