Cell Medica, a London-based biotech company, raised $78MM in a Series B financing with several accomplished biotech investors on the strength of data from its clinical trials in patients with EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) associated lymphomas.
CMD-003 is an autologous immunotherapy comprised of the patient’s own T-cells that recognize Epstein-Barr Virus Latent Membrane Proteins (EBV-LMPs). The therapy is being developed in cooperation with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine (CAGT). Cell Medical licensed the technology and optimized the autologous T cell preparation process. It is now hoping to confirm the results seen previously by Baylor in a study utilizing its new manufacturing process.
In its study, Baylor reported 11 complete responses out of 21 patients with relapsed or resistant lymphoma. And 28 of 29 high-risk or multiple-relapse patients remained in remission at a median of 3.1 years. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology earlier this year.
EBV is associated with 15% – 20% of lymphomas, more than 90% of nasopharyngeal carcinomas and about 10% of gastric cancer. Within the lymphoma group, EBV association varies significantly by subtype. Association ranges from up to 100% for extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma, 20% to 90% for Burkitt’s lymphoma depending on region, over 50% for angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma and 20% – 50% for Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Clinical trials in extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma are ongoing. Blood is taken from the patient with EBV+ cancers, and the EBV-reactive CTLs (cytotoxic T-cells) are expanded and prepared for reinfusion. In the Phase 2 extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma study, treatment consists of two injections of 2x10E7 cells/m2 given on Days 1 and 15 intravenously via a peripheral or central line over a 1 to 10 minute period. Subjects without clinical signs of disease progression at the week 8 assessment are eligible for up to 3 additional injections of 2x10E7 cells/m2 administered at week 8, month 3 and month 6.