Category Archives: CAR-T

CLEC12A – a novel target for AML and MDS

CLEC12 (C-Type Lectin Domain Family 12 Member A) is negative regulator of granulocyte and monocyte functioning. It is a member of the C-type lectin/C-type lectin-like domain (CTL/CTLD) superfamily. It is also known as Myeloid Inhibitory C-Type Lectin-Like Receptor and Dendritic Cell-Associated Lectin. CLEC12 is a cell surface receptor that modulates signaling cascades and mediates tyrosine phosphorylation of target MAP kinases. Continue reading

CD-19 CAR T-cell gets unanimous ODAC recommendation and Blincyto wins full FDA approval – managing cytokine release syndrome

This week, the FDA Oncology Drug Advisory Committee provided a unanimous recommendation to Novartis’ tisagenlecleucel, a CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapy directed against CD19 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (r/r) pediatric and young adult patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  In addition, the FDA granted full approval to Amgen for Blincyto (blinatumomab), a bispecific monoclonal antibody that targets CD19, for indicated for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults and children. Blincyto received conditional approval in 2015 for this claim. Continue reading

CARMA – Chimeric Antigen Receptor Macrophages

CARMA Therapeutics, a company that develops chimeric antigen receptor technology, not for T-cells (CAR-T cells), rather, for macrophages, hence the name “CARMA,” closed on an initial round of funding to advance its technologies. Continue reading

Juno Advances CAR T-cell CAR017 and Halts CAR015 in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Juno Therapeutics is developing Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells directed against B-cell antigen CD19 for the treatment of patients with B-cell lymphomas. The company has elected to halt the development of JCAR015 for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and proceed with JCAR017 for relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), due to the development of cerebral edema and subsequent death of several patients with ALL enrolled in its phase 2 ROCKET trial, which has been suspended. Continue reading

Engineering safety into CAR T-cells to address toxicities

Adoptive immunotherapy with engineered T-cells, for example, CAR T-cells (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) is associated with significant toxicities including cytokine release syndrome, neurologic toxicity, “on target/off tumor” recognition, and anaphylaxis. CAR T-cells lack the ability to respond to signals that maintain immune homeostasis. For this reason, they are effective relentless killers of cells that express the target to which they have been programmed, however, at a safety cost. Continue reading

Celgene Acquires EngMab for BCMA Program

Celgene acquired EngMab for $600MM to enrich its programs targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Celgene is exploiting BCMA in both CAR T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) and bispecific antibodies targeting CD-3 (Cluster of differentiation 3), Continue reading

Cell-based Immunotherapies in the News

Baxalta, the biopharmaceutical spinoff of Baxter, entered into a $1.7 B deal with Precision BioSceinces for 6 CAR-T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell) projects, and Saronic Biotechnology announced positive data in preclinical studies of its autologous dendritic cell vaccine for hepatocellular carcinoma. Continue reading

Gene-edited donor T-cells save baby with incurable leukemia

An experimental therapy made of genetically-modified donor T-cells cured a baby with incurable leukemia: Continue reading

Immatics and MD Anderson Collaborate on IL-21 for Cancer Immunotherapy

Immatics, a German biotechnology company has established a subsidiary in Houston, TX to collaborate with MD Anderson on overcoming some of the limitations to the adoptive T cell therapies now in the immuno-oncology pipeline. The collaboration covers the use of cytokine IL-21 to expand high-quality T cell batches, particularly those generated by CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) and related approaches. Continue reading

Immunocor’s Anti-Cancer Platform Garners $320MM Private Financing

Immunocor raised $320MM in a private financing round to support its anti-cancer platform. That’s a lot of money for a single financing – in fact, it is the largest private fundraising by a European biotechnology company. What’s the attraction? Continue reading