Mantis Therapeutics

Developing an innovative targeted immunotherapy against cancer

Every year 1.4 million patients are diagnosed worldwide with colorectal cancer (CRC) and 737 thousand alone live in more developed regions. Patients in developed regions have access to standard of care therapeutic treatment but 45% of these patients still recur and die. No valid treatment option is available for recurring patients. We have developed a remote controlled conditional attenuated bacteria that has improved efficacy against CRC and other cancer types.

In past clinical trials, most bacterial vectors were considered safe but inefficient in reducing the tumor mass or in eliminating metastasis. It was recently discovered that the poor efficacy was the result of over attenuation of the bacterial vector. We have developed a novel bacterial vector where the attenuation level can be remotely controlled by addition of a GRAS sugar in the blood stream. We expect that this innovative approach will allow us to tightly control the balance between safety and efficacy, resulting in the best results in the clinic. We have achieved POC in mice. Our conditionally attenuated bacterial vector has completely cured mice from CRC and induced a memory immune response that protected the animals from a second CRC challenge, 30 days after the initial tumor eradication. Moreover, the treatment of additional cancer models (e.g. renal cell carcinoma) with our bacterial vector revealed promising results. Phase I human clinical trials are planned for 2020 and market launch is expected to be before 2024. The initial goal of the company is to develop a therapy that considerably extend the life or even cure CRC patients. With time we want to diversify our pipeline, by using our platform technology to develop additional candidates against other cancer types.

The value of the Colorectal Cancer therapeutics market is expected to increase to $9.4 billion by 2020.

The initial team of Mantis is composed by Nuno Viegas, PhD, MEng., who has several years of experience in biotech, academic research and large pharma in several distinct positions as researcher, senior scientist, project manager and business developer, Pietro Spitali, PhD., assistant professor with several years of experience in developing antisense oligonucleotide drugs and biomarkers to monitor therapeutic efficacy for neuromuscular diseases and Anthippi Chrysochou MSc, bio-pharmaceutical Sciences and Science Based Business graduate, with professional experience in various positions in the healthcare industry, as investment analyst in a life science venture capital firm as well as training and experience in SME business management and development.

Nuno Viegas
Startup activities

Venture Challenge Spring 2016