The Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and Cancer Research Technology have launched a collaboration to develop a new immuno-oncology cellular therapy based on gene modifying T cells to target solid tumors.
The Cell Therapy Catapult is a U.K. organization dedicated to the growth of the U.K. cell and gene therapy industry by bridging the gap between scientific research and commercialization. Cancer Research Technology is the commercialization arm of Cancer Research U.K.
The new effort is aimed at translating an academic discovery program funded by Cancer Research U.K. and developed by Dr. Steven Lee and Professor Roy Bicknell at the University of Birmingham into a commercially viable cell therapy. The collaborating partners have launched a new company, Chimeric Therapeutics, which 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 tumors. It involves directing the CAR-T cell toward a new, highly specific marker of tumor angiogenesis, CLEC14a. The therapy will act as a vasculature disruptive agent compromising oxygen supply to the tumors and inhibiting tumor growth. The technology currently is undergoing the final stages of preclinical development, and is planned to enter into clinical trials soon after.
Cancer Research Technology and the university have partnered with the Cell Therapy Catapult to bring their extensive regulatory, clinical, analytical and manufacturing process development expertise into the program, utilizing their experience in developing immunotherapies for cancer. The Cell Therapy Catapult specifically will 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 tumors and the CLEC14a target toward a commercially available cell therapy.