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New Company Asylia Therapeutics Finalizes Exclusive Worldwide License Agreement

Oct 9, 2020 | Press Releases

Asylia Therapeutics (“Asylia”), a new, privately-held, development stage biopharmaceutical company, headquartered in Houston at the Texas Medical Center, has finalized an exclusive worldwide license agreement with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop first-in-class immune modulating therapies for cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, which collectively impact tens of millions of Americans annually.

The license covers a diverse set of antibodies that target unique epitopes on the extracellular or cell surface forms of Heat shock protein-70 (HSP70) including:

  • Antibodies that bind to extracellular HSP70, a molecule known to play a central role in antigen delivery to the immune system.
  • Asylia’s lead product candidate, ASY-77A, which enhances antigen presentation and triggers potent anti-tumor immune responses.
  • Antibodies that may offer a rational approach for the treatment of autoimmune conditions by modulating activity of the immune system.
  • Antibodies that target the cell-surface form of HSP70 and provide opportunities for the development of modified antibodies and cellular therapies to target and kill cancer cells.

The groundbreaking research which led to this pipeline of antibodies including Asylia’s lead product candidate, ASY-77A, was performed in the laboratory of Robert Orlowski, MD, Ph.D. Asylia co-founder and professor & past chair of the Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Dr. Orlowski is internationally recognized for his basic, translational, and clinical research which has led to new therapies for hematologic malignancies.  ASY-77A works by increasing the ability of dendritic cells, which are key to starting immune reactions, to better recognize the presence of cancer cells. As a result, T-cells become activated to kill cancer cells.  ASY-77A is highly active against models of solid tumors such as breast, colon cancer, and melanoma, and against blood-related cancers like multiple myeloma.

Ronald DePinho M.D., professor & past president of MD Anderson and Richard J. Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma at MD Anderson, join Dr. Orlowski as co-founders. “We are encouraged by the robust anti-tumor activity and broad potential of our pipeline, and have begun to assemble an exceptional  leadership team with a proven track record in the development of antibody therapies for the benefit of patients suffering from intractable cancers,” shared Dr. DePinho.

About Asylia Therapeutics

Asylia Therapeutics, established August 6, 2019, is a private, development-stage biotechnology company advancing novel immune modulating therapies for cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, which collectively impact tens of millions of Americans annually.   The company’s platform centers on a drug pipeline capable of modulating antigen presentation to the immune system which has, to date, produced unprecedented anti-tumor responses across multiple cancer models. To learn more, visit