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Cellergy Pharma receives $300K grant for cell therapies

Katie Tabeling
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Delaware Innovation Space DuPont Experimental Station Wilmington Delaware

The Delaware Innovation Space is home to Cellergy Pharma, which is starting to develop therapies to treat asthma and food allergies.| DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON —  Cellergy Pharma, a rising cellular therapies biotechnology company, has been awarded $300,000 to fuel the development of therapies to treat severe allergic diseases.

The two-year old company was awarded funding from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases earlier this month to develop CAR-T cell therapies. Cellergy Pharma is based out of the Delaware Innovation Space on the DuPont Experimental Station campus, and participated in the Delaware BioScience Association 2023 pitch competition.

“This grant award is an acknowledgement of the importance of Cellergy’s focus to develop CAR-T cells for treating severe atopic allergic diseases,” Cellergy Pharma President Ronald Dudek said in a statement. “We look forward to conducting this groundbreaking research with our partner Nemours Children’s Health.”

CAR-T treatments generally involve extracting white blood cells, known as T-cells, from a patient and re-engineering them to attack cancer and infusing them back into the body.

The first FDA approval for this type of therapy was approved in 2017 to treat leukemia. Since then, six different CAR-T therapies have been approved to treat various blood cancers.

But Cellergy Pharma is opting to take that groundbreaking research beyond treating cancer. With the guidance of Dudek, who is a four-time CAR-T cell startup founder, the company imagines a one-time immunotherapy that can eliminate asthma or food allergy symptoms.

There are 21 million adults with asthma, with less than a million qualified as uncontrolled and severe, according to Cellergy Pharma. The company’s secondary market of adults with food allergies is roughly 26 million —   with 2.3 million people who had experienced at least one allergy-related emergency department visit within a year.

Right now, Cellergy Pharma,’s lead product is CP-010, which targets immunoglobulin E, a key antibody associated with allergic reactions. The research Cellergy Pharma Chief Science Officer Mark Ma has worked in inventing the company’s CAR-T cell receptors, amid his work leading the immunology research laboratory at Nemours Children’s Health.

“We are grateful for the receipt of this grant award, which will advance the developmentCP-010, an autologous CAR T cell product that targets membrane IgE.  This award will fund our move into our new research lab at the Innovation Space in Wilmington,” Ma said in a press statement.

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