• THINK Phase 1 trial (CYAD-01 with no preconditioning) showed a complete response in 40%  of patients with AML/MDS
  • THINK CyFlu Phase 1 demonstrated CYAD-01 is well-tolerated, with no dose-limiting toxicity or treatment-related grade 3 or above adverse events (AEs) observed
  • First data from the shRNA technology platform allowing generation of a novel, next-generation, non-gene-edited allogeneic platform for CAR-T product candidates
  • Treasury position(1) of €49.7 million ($56.9 million) at year-end

Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium - Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ: CYAD), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of CAR-T cell product candidates, today provides a business update and reports full year 2018 consolidated financial results prepared in accordance with IFRS.

Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad: “In 2018, we identified several significant opportunities to drive long-term growth by focusing our clinical pipeline on the development of CAR-T cell product candidates. This includes the ongoing program for our lead product candidate CYAD-01 as well as our non-gene edited allogeneic candidate CYAD-101. Following encouraging preliminary data from the THINK trial evaluating CYAD-01 as a monotherapy for the treatment of relpased / refactory acute myeloid leukemia (r/r AML) patients, our clinical hematological program for CYAD-01 now includes multiple approaches for evaluating CYAD-01 including  the THINK schedule optimization cohorts as well as our DEPLETHINK trial. We look forward to providing clinical updates from both the Phase 1 THINK and DEPLETHINK trials throughout 2019.”

“In addition, we have advanced our shRNA platform to design novel preclinical CAR-T product candidates including our next-generation NKG2D-based CAR-T, CYAD-02, and our CYAD-200 series of non-gene edited allogeneic CAR-T candidates. We look forward to advancing multiple shRNA-based CAR-T product candidates towards the clinic in 2020.”

Full Year 2018 and Recent Business Highlights

  • CYAD-01 – Autologous NKG2D-based CAR-T

Hematologic malignancies (r/rAML/MDS)

THINK Phase 1 trial, evaluating CYAD-01 without preconditioning chemotherapy, showed 40% (four out of ten) of patients with AML/MDS achieved a complete response.

Further development to assess a more frequent dosing schedule of CYAD-01 without preconditioning chemotherapy for the treatment of r/r AML is ongoing.

Cohort 1 of the DEPLETHINK Phase 1 trial, which is anopen-label, dose-escalation trial with a single injection of CYAD-01 following standard CyFlu preconditioning, demonstrated that CYAD-01 is well-tolerated, with no dose-limiting toxicity or treatment-related grade 3 or above adverse events (AEs) observed in patients with r/r AML.

Solid tumors (mCRC):

The concurrent treatment of CYAD-01 with FOLFOX chemotherapy in the first cohort of the trial was well tolerated, with no occurrence of serious AEs (SAEs) nor increase in the rate of treatment-related AEs. In addition, initial data from the THINK CyFlu cohort (single injection of CYAD-01 following treatment with CyFlu) showed that treatment is well tolerated with no occurrence of SAEs nor an increase in the treatment-related AEs rate. In addition, preliminary translational data suggest an improvement in the cell expansion of CYAD-01 induced by the CyFlu preconditioning.


  • CYAD-101 – Allogeneic NKG2D-based CAR-T

In 2018 the Company initiated the open-label, dose escalation alloSHRINK trial evaluating the non-gene edited allogeneic CAR-T therapy, CYAD-101, administered concurrently with FOLFOX chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).


  • Novel, next-generation, shRNA platform

In March 2019, Celyad held a Research & Development Day in New York highlighting its pipeline of preclinical CAR-T product candidates candidates for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors, based on its short hairpin RNA (shRNA) platform

Autologous settings: CYAD-02 is a next-generation autologous NKG2D-based CAR-T candidate incorporating shRNA technology to target NKG2D ligands MICA/MICB. Preclinical AML models for CYAD-02 show an encouraging increase in in vitro proliferation and in vivo persistence and anti-tumor activity leading the company to plan to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for CYAD-02 in the first half 2020.

Allogeneic settings: In vivo data demonstrate that shRNA targeting of CD3ζ by shRNA protects against graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) to a level equivalent to CRISPR-Cas9 based knock-out , as well as a significant increase in persistence of allogeneic T cells using shRNA targeting when compared to CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technologies.

This encouraged the company to develop three disruptive first-in-class non-gene-edited allogeneic CAR-T candidates from the CYAD-200 series leveraging the shRNA SMARTvector platform:

  • CYAD-211: B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) targeting CAR-T therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma, which is expected to enter the clinic by mid-2020
  • CYAD-221: CD19 targeting CAR-T therapy for the treatment of B-cell malignancies, which is expected to enter the clinic by late 2020
  • CYAD-231: Dual specific CAR-T targeting NKG2D and an undisclosed membrane protein, which is expected to enter the clinic by early 2021


Expected milestones for  2019

  • Additional data from the Phase 1 dose-escalation THINK trial for CYAD-01 in r/r AML or MDS patients, including initial data from the schedule optimization portion of the trial;
  • Enrollment completion and initial data from the Phase 1 dose-escalation DEPLETHINK trial evaluating CYAD-01 with preconditioning chemotherapy in r/r AML or MDS patients;
  • Acceleration of the development strategy and refinement of the regulatory pathway plan for CYAD-01 for the treatment of r/r AML or MDS patients, including the initiation of a potential Phase 2 clinical trial;
  • Advancement towards an IND application with the preclinical development of next-generation NKG2D-based CAR-T, CYAD-02 ; and
  • Further pursue the development of the proprietary non-gene edited allogeneic shRNA platform and progress towards IND applications for the CYAD-200 series of shRNA-based CAR-T candidates.


2018 Financial and Operating Results

Selected key financial figures (€ millions)

Full Year 2018

Full Year 2017




Research & development expenses



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Operating loss, excluding non-recurring items



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Net cash used in operations, excluding non-recurring items



Treasury position [[1]]




The Company’s license and collaboration agreements have generated a revenue of €3.1 million in 2018. This includes €2.4 million from the exclusive license agreement signed with Mesoblast Ltd. focused on the development and commercialization of Celyad’s intellectual property rights related to C-CathEZ, a proprietary intra-myocardial injection catheter, as well as €0.7 million from the non-clinical supply agreement with ONO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. with respect to the product candidate development of CYAD-101 for their licensed territories.

Research & Development expenses totaled €23.6 million and €22.9 million for 2018 and 2017, respectively. The increase in 2018 is mainly driven by the key clinical studies on CYAD-01 and CYAD-101.

General and Administrative expenses increased by €1.1 million, primarily driven by a non-cash expenses associated with the vesting of warrants.

The Company’s other expenses amount to €8.4 million and include non-cash expenses of €6.6 million relating to liability reassessment required by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) related to the advancement in the Company’s NKG2D-based CAR-T candidates. Overall, non-cash expenses for 2018 totaled €10.2 million.

Therefore, Company’s operating loss of recurring operations (REBIT) increased to €38.2 million compared to €26.6 million for the year 2017. Net operational cash burn, which excludes non-cash effects, was €27.2 million in 2018 compared to €31.2 million in 2017.

Loss for the year 2018 amounts to €37.4 million versus a net loss of €56.4 million for 2017. 

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled €49.7 million as of December 31, 2018 compared to €33.9 million on December 31, 2017. The Company confirms its previous guidance that existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments should be sufficient to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements, based on the current scope of activities, until mid-2020.


Annual Report 2018

The Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2018 is published today, March 28, 2019, on the website of the Company. The statutory auditor, BDO Réviseurs d’Entreprises SCRL, has confirmed that the audit, which is substantially complete, has not to date revealed any material misstatement in the draft consolidated financial statements, and that the accounting data reported in the press release are consistent, in all material respects, with the draft consolidated financial statements from which it has been derived. On March 28, 2019, date of the release of the Annual Report, Celyad published a press release relating to the appointment of Mr. Filippo Petti as Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective on April 1, 2019. As a consequence of this publication, Celyad decided to issue a supplement to the Annual Report in order to keep the Annual Report up to the date of the convening notice to the 2019 annual shareholders’ meeting. This supplement will be published on the website of the Company within the next days.


Conference Call Details

A conference call will be held on Friday, 29 March 2019, at 1 p.m. CET / 8 a.m. EDT to review the financial and operating results for full year 2018. Please dial-in five to ten minutes prior to the call start time using the number and conference ID below: Standard International Dial-In Number: +44 (0) 2071 928000; Conference ID: 8745558


Local Call Dial-In Numbers: 

Belgium....................... 024009874

France......................... 0176700794

United Kingdom........... 08003767922

Netherlands................ 0207143545

United States............... 16315107495

Switzerland................. 0315800059


[[1]] Treasury position’ is determined by adding short-term investments and cash and cash equivalents from the statement of financial position prepared in accordance with IFRS.


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