Enara Bio™ (formerly Ervaxx™), a biotechnology company leveraging its proprietary T-cell/T-cell receptor (TCR) discovery and Dark Antigen™ platforms to deliver targeted cancer immunotherapies, announces its new name – Enara Bio Limited. This new name reflects the company’s expanded product discovery and development strategy beyond its initial focus on endogenous retroviral (ERV) antigens for the development of cancer vaccines (hence “Ervaxx”).
“Enara” is derived from an Arabic word that means illumination, enlightenment and bringing light into darkness. The company believes this new name more closely illustrates Enara Bio’s mission as a science-led organization exploring the genomic dark matter as a source of novel cancer-specific T-cell antigens. The rebrand also recognizes the company’s new TCR research capabilities, including programs that could enable immune recognition of a broad range of tumour cell types in an HLA-independent fashion, and thus offer broadly applicable T-cell therapies. By building discovery efforts on both sides of the T-cell/cancer-cell interface (the “immune synapse”), Enara Bio is building a pipeline of cancer immunotherapies for broad patient populations.
The company was founded as Ervaxx Ltd. in late 2016 with an initial focus on the development of therapeutic cancer vaccines utilizing novel antigens derived from endogenous retroviral (ERV) DNA sequences. Since then, and based on breakthrough science coming from both internally-generated and in-licensed insights, Enara Bio has broadened its horizons to include TCR-based immunotherapies targeting an extended cancer-associated antigenic repertoire derived from the entire genomic dark matter, termed Dark Antigens™.
To accelerate this evolution, Enara Bio in-licensed patents covering T cells and TCRs reactive to cancer-specific antigens and ligands from Cardiff University in January 2020. These exciting new technologies, while early research stage, present compelling opportunities to develop immunotherapies with the potential to address a broad range of tumour types independent of the patient’s genetic background.
Kevin Pojasek, President and CEO of Enara Bio commented: “Our new name – Enara Bio – reflects the progression of our strategy and capabilities to align more broadly with our purpose of delivering impactful immunotherapies to all cancer patients. Our ground-breaking work in identifying and characterizing Dark Antigens is now joined by other exciting new programs focused on pan-cancer, pan-HLA targets, which greatly expand our opportunities for the development of novel immunotherapies with broad utility across patients with diverse cancers. While we continue to press ahead with these exciting programs internally, we are increasingly seeking partnerships to advance the full diversity of our science and product opportunities.”