Caelum was founded by Fortress Biotech in January 2017 to advance the clinical development of research from Alan Solomon, M.D., of the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, with the goal of improving treatment options for patients with AL amyloidosis.
Existing treatment using chemotherapy is focused on eliminating plasma cells that produce abnormal proteins, but most often the pathologic amyloid deposits in the body’s vital tissues remain or progress, resulting in organ failure and even death. For this reason, Dr. Solomon pioneered early development of antibodies that work to break up pre-existing amyloid in tissues, and to help the body’s immune system remove the deleterious material. His “anti-amyloid” monoclonal antibody 11-1F4, now designated CAEL-101, has demonstrated its ability to bind to amyloid and promote dissolution in mice bearing human AL amyloid tumors. Importantly, CAEL-101 injection has been shown to bind specifically to the amyloid and not to normal tissue in AL amyloidosis patients. Dr. Solomon’s team transferred the program to Columbia University (“Columbia”) and Dr. Suzanne Lentzsch to implement the clinical program.
Caelum secured worldwide license rights for CAEL-101 from Columbia in January 2017. Fortress maintains a large minority ownership position in Caelum.