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Elicio Therapeutics: A Glimmer of Hope For Cancer Treatment


Kicking cancer out of the way is Elicio’s mission for a healthier tomorrow!

Cancer, one of the most dangerous diseases today, along with a few other diseases, is still unknown to doctors and the world.

To save as many people as fast as possible, medicine needs to evolve efficiently, and medical innovations must be made.

Elicio Therapeutics is a startup that restructures and rebuilds a person’s immune system with the goal of defeating cancer and other infectious disorders. A company established in 2011 by Robert Connelly, promises to make a change. The need for the development of new vaccines, or whole treatments in order to cure cancer was what led Robert to start the company.

Elicio Therapeutics is dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by combining immunology and material science. As a very unique and innovative company, it made great progress and already has some big projects. If you’re interested in finding out more, stay with us.

Early Start

Elicio’s founder, Robert, has always had big dreams for the future, even from a very young age. He was born and raised in South Florida and enjoyed a typical Floridian childhood. Due to his friendly and outgoing personality, he was a rather popular kid in school. Robert comes from a big and vibrant, multi-ethnic family. While growing up, he was very close with all of his siblings, and with his parents, of course.

Since both of his parents were very professionally successful, especially his father, Robert managed to soak in enormous knowledge from him. Young Robert’s family taught him to be hard-working and persistent in achieving the goals he would set for himself.

After finishing his high school education with excellent grades, Robert knew he was going to attend college, except he didn’t know which one. The way his professional life turned out wasn’t previously planned, but everything ended up well in the end.

After much deliberation, Robert chose to enroll at the University of Florida to study Business Administration and Marketing. Just as he got his degree in 1982, his professional life started going upward.

Hopeful Inventor

Robert started his career at Abbott Laboratories, where he spent over 11 years in sales positions such as marketing, sales management, and strategic marketing. He subsequently spent nearly six years with IGEN Bioveris as SVP of Sales and Marketing and General Manager of Life Sciences. While at the company, he was in charge of marketing and investor relations of the firm's $300M for public financing.

Piling up success after success, Robert’s professional achievements don’t stop here. In the course of the next 10 years, he became CEO of even three more companies. Robert spent nearly 5 years in Pulmatrix, another therapeutic facility that deals with respiratory diseases such as asthma. In 2013, he got the CEO position of Axcella, yet another pharmaceutical firm that develops endogenous metabolic modulators to treat a variety of critical disorders.

All those years working provided Robert with outstanding working experience which he was able to use later on. From 2013 to 2018, Robert was a venture partner at Flagship Pioneering, where he worked on the establishment and administration of five portfolio businesses including himself as a Board member of Kaleido and Kintai, CEO of Axcella, Chairman and CEO of Aero Designs and WikiCell Designs which later merged into one company. He secured more than $300M in financing and oversaw several partnership deals for his firms.

Finally, at the beginning of October 2018, he founded Elicio Therapeutics, and served as the company’s CEO, making a boom, given his 30 years of work experience.

Thinking and Acting Outside the Box

Due to the minimal number of facilities and therapeutic companies searching for cures for deadly diseases, Robert thought it was high time someone stepped up. He formed Elicio to help people with cancer by re-engineering their immune system, and also to try and improve medicine and discover vaccines for various lethal diseases.

In medicine, and especially when talking about cancer, activating a particular region where immune responses are formed in treatments is crucial. Elicio’s Amphiphile platform, or AMP for short, is believed to deliver immunotherapeutics to the lymph nodes, also known as the immune system’s brain.

Unlike anything that has been invented till now, Elicio focuses on the lymphatic system, since Robert thought that’s the key to a successful cure for aggressive cancers. The lymphatic system is a web of interconnecting lymphatic nodes, veins, and organs. One of its key duties is to gather and concentrate molecular markers of health and illness that the immune system monitors.

Therapeutics based on the AMP platform are made of three main components. The albumin-targeting binding vehicle is engineered to have excellent binding properties, and transport of the required dose of albumin to the lymph node. The linker molecule binds the lipophilic domain to the medicinal payload. And, the therapeutic payload allows direct lymph node involvement and has the potential to offer great flexibility in terms of modality selection.

The AMP has the potential to efficiently train, activate, and expand key immune cells, resulting in the generation and maintenance of powerful adaptive immunity necessary to cure a wide range of illnesses. This lymph node-targeting technique that Elicio uses has the potential to be widely useful in the treatment of never-before-met medical needs.

Monetary Infusions

Elicio Therapeutics has received a total of $162.9M in funding over ten rounds. Six investors have generously contributed to the funding of Elicio Therapeutics, with four of them being the lead investors. Clal Biotechnological Industries along with EFung Capital and Livzon Pharmaceutical Group invested over $33M. Access BridgeGap Ventures is also a lead investor that has been with Robert’s company from its very start.

The official IPO date of Elicio is still unknown. However, the company intends to raise $40M by selling $3.1M shares at a price of between $12 to $14 per share. Elicio Therapeutics has a plan to grow even bigger as a company and would hopefully have a fully diluted market value of $201M.

A Promise for a Change

Today, Elicio is a proud candidate awaiting approval of two of its products: ELI-002 and ELI-004, out of which the first is the primary candidate. The whole team is now undertaking a clinical trial of ELI-002 and it’s expected to have preliminary safety, dosage escalation, and correlative biomarker results as early as spring 2022.

The AMPLIFY-201 or ELI-002 study is being carried out in a number of locations, including cancer treatment facilities in the United States such as Memorial Sloan Kettering, Washington University, St. Louis, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, and Henry Ford Health System.

After a first dosage escalation phase, Elicio wants to broaden patient eligibility to assess ELI-002's potential as a therapy for a variety of malignancies. AMPLIFY-201 is specifically designed for patients with solid tumors, a stage in which immunosuppressive effects inside the tumor are reduced.

The possibility of using ELI-004 is also present, in combination with different disease-specific antigens to cure or prevent other illnesses. Their pre-clinical findings highlight the potential of ELI-004's fundamental characteristics and differentiate its immune-boosting power.

Elicio, Today

Today, Elicio is in the early phases of investigating a broader portfolio of modern adjuvants, such as the AMP-modified receptor and damage-associated molecular pattern options.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Elicio employs 24 people, all of which are constantly working towards bringing the world one step closer to medical relief.

Thanks to Robert’s vast experience as an entrepreneur, Elicio became one of those companies that strive towards making sure the medical world is richer by a cure or two. Fending off the fierce competition coming from companies like OnQuality Pharmaceuticals, Ayala Pharmaceuticals, and NH TherAguix, among others, secured Elicio’s position among the best of the best in the mission of curing the world.

Starting as a small company, now Elicio counts around 10 management team members and board directors. Every member is an outstanding biotech expert, and in the near future, their plan is to improve the company even more and hopefully implement the technologies that they invented.

Whatever the future might hold for Elicio, we can only hope it will bring the world a much-needed change in the right direction, health-wise.