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Chimeric Therapeutics gets extra protection for scorpion venom therapy

Updated: May 20

Chimeric Therapeutics is looking to beef up its offering in the Japanese healthcare market. Credit: File

Cancer fighter Chimeric Therapeutics has expanded its patent protection in Japan for certain cell therapy clinical and preclinical stage applications using chlorotoxin, which is derived from deathstalker scorpion venom.

Management says its patents will expand the company’s intellectual property portfolio and underpin important assets in its development pipeline. Chimeric’s position in the land of the rising sun was boosted after the Japan Patent Office issued a notice of allowance for its latest application, which covers certain strands of the company’s chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology using chlorotoxin (CLTX).

A notice of allowance is issued when a patent office determines that an application satisfies the requirements for patentability. The fact that it has been granted in Japan is also significant, as that that country was recently assessed by global analyst IQVIA as having the world’s third-biggest pharmaceutical market.

The allowance includes Chimeric’s clinical-stage CAR T asset CHM 1101 and its preclinical stage CAR NK asset CHM 1301.

“We are delighted to see our patent protection for CLTX CAR therapies broadened in Japan, the third largest pharmaceutical market in the world, where CAR T cell therapies for blood cancers have already been successfully commercialised. The grant of this key Japan patent will further expand the robust intellectual property portfolio underpinning our CLTX CAR pipeline assets.” Chimeric Therapeutics managing director Jennifer Chow

The company is currently trialling CHM 1101, which it describes as the “first-in-class” CLTX CAR T cell therapy that is being developed for patients with solid tumours. The treatment employs CLTX, an amino acid peptide originally derived from the venom of the deathstalker scorpion to target tumours.

Chimeric says CHM 1101 demonstrated safety with 70 per cent disease stability in the initial two dose cohorts in its phase-1A investigator-initiated clinical trial at the City of Hope specialist cancer hospital in the United States.

The next stage of testing the treatment is a phase-1B trial, which is often conducted to gain evidence on issues including the safety and tolerability of patients trialling a potential treatment.

The phase-1B trial for CHM 1101 is designed in two parts to determine a recommended dose and administration schedule. Its aim is to assess CHM 1101’s safety and efficacy.

The biotech’s CORE-NK platform is a clinically-validated, off-the-shelf natural killer cell platform. Results from a completed phase-one clinical trial was published in March last year and demonstrated safety and efficacy in attacking blood cancers and solid tumours. An additional clinical trial using two different cancer treatments is now underway.

From its CORE-NK platform, Chimeric has kicked off the development of four new assets, with plans for phase-one trials in solid tumours and blood cancers.

While Japan represents a big fish, the company is still hunting for the whale as it continues its mission to commercialise its treatment in the US. In April, it was given approval for a phase-1B clinical trial of the treatment and a Texas-based medical centre is now enrolling for trial patients.

As the only clinical-stage cell therapy company listed on the ASX, Chimeric is very much about being on the tip of the spear. With greater protections in place for its treatments it can continue with confidence to develop its pipeline of treatments in the world’s biggest markets.

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