Cimeio Therapeutics Announces Acceptance of ASH Abstracts Detailing Pipeline

— Company also strengthens Board of Directors with appointments of Luca Santarelli and Michael Tomsicek —

Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA, November 3, 2022

Cimeio Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a novel approach to cell therapies, today announced the acceptance of two abstracts for the company’s pipeline programs to be presented at the American Society of Hematology meeting in December 2022 in New Orleans.

In addition, the company has strengthened its board of directors with the additions of Luca Santarelli, M.D., and Michael Tomsicek.

ASH abstracts

Cimeio’s SCIP platform (Shielded Cell & Immunotherapy Pairs) uses gene editing tools to insert novel protein variants into hematopoietic stem cells or other types of cells, allowing the cells to maintain their function while making them resistant to paired immunotherapy depletion. Cimeio’s platform has effectively shielded cells from depletion mediated by antibodies, T-cell engagers, ADCs, and CAR-T cells in preclinical studies. The company is advancing its first programs towards clinical development for genetic and malignant hematologic diseases.

The first abstract to be presented at the upcoming ASH meeting is titled “Function-preserving single amino acid substitutions shield hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from CD117 targeted immunotherapy in vivo.” This describes how CD117-shielded HSPCs could enable higher, longer and/or repetitive antibody dosing, allowing for toxin-free conditioning, post-transplant adjustment of donor chimerism, and targeted treatment of minimal residual disease in CD117+ malignancies.

The second abstract is titled “Engineered Single Amino Acid Substitutions Protect Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells From CD123 Targeted Immunotherapy.” These findings detail how single amino acid substitutions in CD123 introduced to HSPCs by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated HDR enable selective shielding from various immunotherapies, while preserving biophysical and functional properties.

“With the presentation of our first preclinical data we have demonstrated that our shielding technology works in vivo, and across two of our leading programs,” said Cimeio CEO Thomas Fuchs. “Our CD117 shield results in no residual binding when paired with our highly potent CD117 antibody. This pair serves as the basis for a powerful combination that could transform HSCT for patients with severe genetic and malignant hematological diseases.”

Presentation details

Title: Function-Preserving Single Amino Acid Substitutions Shield Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells from CD117 Targeted Immunotherapy In Vivo
Session Name: 701. Experimental Transplantation: Basic and Translational: Poster I
Session Date: Saturday, December 10, 2022
Presentation Time: 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Hall D

Title: Engineered Single Amino Acid Substitutions Protect Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells from CD123 Targeted Immunotherapy
Session Name: 501. Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells and Hematopoiesis: Basic and Translational: Poster II
Session Date: Sunday, December 11, 2022
Presentation Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Hall D

Board appointments

Dr. Santarelli is the founder and CEO of VectivBio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering novel transformational treatments for severe rare conditions. He has more than 20 years of experience in academic and industrial R&D, having led drug programs in the areas of neuroscience, rare diseases, ophthalmology, metabolic and G.I., spanning the value chain from discovery research to commercialization. Previously, Dr. Santarelli served as Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Therachon AG, which was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2019 for $810 million.

Prior to Therachon, he spent 12 years at Roche, most recently serving as the Senior Vice President and Head of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases, as well as Small Molecule Research at Roche in Switzerland. Dr. Santarelli completed his M.D. and Psychiatry Residency at the University of Turin, Italy, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of psychiatric disorders and adult brain stem cells.

Mr. Tomsicek is the former CFO of CRISPR Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases. Prior to joining CRISPR, Mr. Tomsicek served as CFO of Abiomed and before that was SVP and CFO at Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to Cubist, Mr. Tomsicek spent nearly eight years at General Electric Healthcare, as finance manager in global operations, and then as CFO of its ultrasound business. He holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering and a master of business administration, both from the University of Wisconsin.

“We are very pleased to welcome Luca and Mike to the Cimeio Board. They are both seasoned biotech executives who will be instrumental as we grow the company in this next phase,” said Alex Mayweg, Ph.D., Chairman of Cimeio and Managing Director at founding investor Versant Ventures.

About Cimeio

Cimeio is an applied gene editing and immunotherapy company developing a portfolio of Shielded-Cell & Immunotherapy Pairs™ (SCIP), which has the potential to transform hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Cimeio’s technology platform is based on the design and expression of modified variants of naturally occurring cell surface proteins in HSCs. These novel variants maintain their function but are resistant to depletion when targeted by a paired immunotherapy which has high affinity for the wild-type version of these proteins. This technology has significant therapeutic potential, which Cimeio is using to develop curative treatments for patients with genetic diseases, hematologic malignancies, and severe autoimmune disorders. For more information, please visit

Steve Edelson