Project launched for CAR-T cell immuno-oncology therapy development
Posted: 6 January 2016 | Victoria White | No comments yet
The Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and Cancer Research Technology have launched the project to develop a new immuno-oncology cellular therapy based on gene modifying T-cells to target solid tumours…
The Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and Cancer Research Technology have launched a project to develop a new immuno-oncology cellular therapy based on gene modifying T-cells to target solid tumours.
The project is aimed at translating an academic discovery programme funded by Cancer Research UK and developed by Dr Steven Lee and Prof Roy Bicknell at the University of Birmingham into a commercially viable cell therapy.
The collaborating partners have launched a new company, Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd. This new company will hold all future IP rights to the resultant discoveries.
The project is based on a new generation chimeric antigen receptor T-Cell (CAR-T) immuno-oncology therapy for solid tumours. This involves directing the CAR-T cell towards a new, highly specific marker of tumour angiogenesis, CLEC14a. This therapy will act as a vasculature disruptive agent compromising oxygen supply to the tumours and inhibiting tumour growth. The technology is currently undergoing the final stages of preclinical development, and is planned to enter into clinical trials soon after.
A powerful route to harness the power of the immune system
Cancer Research Technology and the University of Birmingham will bring their extensive regulatory, clinical, analytical and manufacturing process development expertise into the programme, utilising their experience in developing immunotherapies for cancer.
“Scientists at University of Birmingham have demonstrated that these new engineered CAR-T cells exhibit anti-tumour effects and therefore have considerable potential as a therapy,” said David Coleman, Head of Spinout Portfolio, University of Birmingham. “We’re delighted to be working with Cancer Research Technology and the Cell Therapy Catapult, through this new spinout company.”
Dr Phil L’Huillier, Cancer Research Technology’s director of business development, added: “This new partnership builds on a very successful relationship with the University of Birmingham. Immunotherapy is an exciting area in cancer treatment and this technology could provide a powerful route to harness the power of the immune system to block the development of blood vessels, and stop tumours growing.”
The Cell Therapy Catapult will specifically be involved in the project to accelerate the translation of the academic discoveries made in Birmingham with Cancer Research Technology around CAR-T immunotherapies for solid tumours and the CLEC14a target towards a commercially available cell therapy.
“We are delighted to assist Cancer Research Technology and Birmingham University to form this new company, Chimeric Technologies and apply this new CAR-T target to address solid tumours for the benefit of patients,” said Keith Thompson, CEO, the Cell Therapy Catapult.