Aurealis Pharma

Embracing science. Enhancing lives.

Aurealis Pharma is a emerging biopharmaceutical company
with a disruptive technology enabling combination immunotherapy with superior efficacy.
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Aurealis Pharma is developing an innovative gene therapy platform (AUP) focusing on immune microenvironment modulation for durable systemic anti-cancer response. This is achieved by enabling combination immunotherapy in a single drug product.

AUP is based on safe food-grade lactic acid bacteria delivering multiple therapeutic proteins, in a temporally coordinated fashion, to activate and modulate the innate and adaptive immune system as well as directly killing of tumor cells and inhibition of angiogenesis.

Aurealis Pharma’s unique therapeutic platform facilitates a novel class of combination immunotherapy embedded in a single product that is efficient, scalable and cost-effective.

Efficient. Our product produces and delivers multiple therapeutic proteins at the same time with continuous release avoiding frequent and high peak dosing. Moreover, two sets of therapeutic proteins can be expressed in a phased fashion with a single administration. Additionally, as our drug product is a simple bacterial cell containing immunomodulatory genes, the regulatory and manufacturing pathways are clear and economical.

Safe. No systemic administration and toxicity, but local peritumoral delivery. Safe food-grade non-pathogenic bacteria.

Easy. Our technology is easy to use. No special teams or devices needed, and re-administration is feasible.

Affordable. Scalable manufacturing process enabling supreme low COG and significant cost advantages (biologic agent with low cost).

One product
Phased MoA
Sensitive to antibiotics
Low cost
Low manufacturing costs
Low Cost-of-Goods
Local administration
No special devices


Aurealis Pharma technology enables delivery of therapeutic proteins to trigger immune modulation. It is a concept for activating and modulating the innate and adaptive immune systems simultaneously, resulting in durable local and systemic anti-tumor effect. The technology is based on a Dual Plasmid expression system, resulting in sustained therapeutic protein expression within the tumor microenvironment.

The Dual Plasmid expression system allows:

  • Expression of therapeutic proteins by the bacteria to stimulate the innate immune system.
  • Expression of therapeutic proteins by the human host cell after phagocytosis to stimulate the adaptive immune system in addition to direct tumor cell killing.

In the first phase of AUP-ONCO mode of action, AUP-ONCO functions as a bioreactor (a protein factory), i.e. the bacteria cell will produce and secrete therapeutic proteins into the tumour environment. These are produced with the aim to activate the immune system towards a Th1 immune response. The immune cells which will be targeted at this step are macrophages / Dendritic cells, Natural Killer cells and CTLs.

In the second phase of AUP-ONCO’s mode of action, AUP-ONCO is recognized by the immune system and “eaten-up” (i.e. phagocytosed) by activated phagocytic immune cells. These phagocytic immune cells are comprised of macrophages, dendritic cells and neutrophils. After phagocytosis, the bacterial plasmid escapes the lysosome and is released into the cytoplasmic space of the host phagocytic cell, resulting in expression of a second set of therapeutic proteins by the host cell. Furthermore, activated dendritic cells have the capacity to present tumor antigens to and activate naïve T-cells to initiate an anti-tumor response.

Thus, Aurealis Pharma technology provides for two phases of protein expression, allowing temporally coordinated modification and stimulation of the immune system.


Aurealis Pharma is a Basel, Switzerland based privately held biopharmaceutical company led by a senior management team with a proven track record in drug discovery, development and translational research, bringing advanced therapeutic medicinal products to the clinic.

Management team

Thomas Wirth


Patrick Schacher


Board of Directors

Iain Buchanan

Iain brings to the company considerable experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries in both executive and non-executive roles. Most recently he served as CEO of NOXXON Pharma AG in Berlin. Prior to that, Iain was CEO of Novexel SA in Paris from its creation as the anti-infective spin out from Sanofi-Aventis in 2004 until its sale in 2009. Previously, he held a variety of management roles including a senior position with Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for business development activities and for creating the European subsidiary. In the past he also worked for both Cilag AG (a division of Johnson and Johnson) and Biogen SA in Switzerland. Iain holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and currently serves as a non-executive director of Synairgen Plc and a member of the advisory board of Allecra Therapeutics.

Ralf Rosenow

Educated at the law schools of the University of Zurich and the University College London, Ralf was admitted to the Zurich and Swiss bar in 1989 specializing in intellectual property right exploitation contracts in life sciences as well as license agreements. After initial years of practice in renowned law firms in Zurich and London, he co-founded the Zurich based law firm Rosenow Grob Schilling in 2001, which in a merger in 2008 became Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law Ltd, Zurich, where he headed the Life Sciences Working Group as a partner until June 2016. Ralf is also the founder of OSICOS Ltd. and the Chairman of its Board of Directors supporting and advising numerous Swiss based start-up companies primarily in the life sciences industry. He a member of the Bar Examination Board of the Canton of Zurich and a member of relevant industry related organizations such as the Licensing Executive Society (LES) and the Swiss Healthcare Licensing Group (Swiss HLG).

Thomas Wirth, Chairman

Dr. Thomas Wirth is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Aurealis Pharma. He is leading the team at Aurealis Pharma as a CEO with extensive experience in gene medicine-based therapies and translational and molecular oncology. Dr. Wirth has worked during his PhD time at the Lombardi Cancer Centre, Georgetown University, after which he worked as a Research Director at Ark Therapeutics Group PLC leading the Kuopio based R&D department. He also held a position as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Finland leading multiple research projects developing Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products (ATMPs). Thomas has wide-ranging experience in bringing gene therapy products to the clinic, having overall scientific and product related leadership role especially in making the regulatory and product related strategic and tactical decisions in typically unfavourable conditions, such as time constrains and limited funding.


Aurealis Pharma AG
Hochbergerstrasse 60C
CH-4057 Basel

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