Building next generation RNA therapeutics
Circio Holding ASA (OSE: CRNA) is a biotechnology company developing novel circular RNA and immunotherapy medicines.
Circio has established a unique circular RNA (circRNA) platform to develop novel circRNA medicines for cancer, vaccines, rare disease, protein replacement therapy and cell therapy. The proprietary circVec technology is based on a modular genetic cassette design for efficient biogenesis of multifunctional circRNA that can be deployed for many purposes. The most advanced concept, circAde, builds on the company´s validated adenovirus platform to deliver circRNA for durable expression of therapeutic proteins directly into cancer cells. This unique approach is the only currently known circRNA program capable of targeting solid tumors. The circVec platform has broad potential applications, and Circio´s strategy is to generate one or more lead candidates for in house development in specific disease indications and in parallel seek partnerships for other technical applications and therapeutic areas. The circRNA R&D activities are being conducted by the wholly owned subsidiary Circio AB based at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
In addition to Circio’s circRNA program, the Company’s’ clinical stage immunotherapy programs are designed to activate the patient´s own immune system to fight cancer cells and provide benefit to patients with no or few treatment alternatives. ONCOS-102 has demonstrated an excellent safety profile, strong immune responses and clinical efficacy in several cancer types in Phase 1/2 studies, both as monotherapy and in combinations with checkpoint inhibitors or standard-of-care chemotherapy. A phase 2 trial to confirm the therapeutic activity of ONCOS-102 in melanoma patients resistant to PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor treatment has been designed, and Circio is seeking external financing and/or partnerships to continue the clinical development.
Circio’s second clinical stage program is an immunotherapy targeting KRAS driver mutations. TG01 has previously shown robust immune responses and encouraging clinical benefit in surgically resected pancreatic cancer and is currently being tested in two clinical trials in RAS-mutated pancreatic cancer and multiple myeloma in the USA and Norway. These studies are being run through academic collaborative networks, supported by prestigious research grants from Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council, creating broad future optionality for the TG01 program at low cost to Circio.