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Aussie biotech aims high in race to cure cancer

August 5, 2020
Warrick Lace

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Aussie biotech aims high in race to cure cancer

Every year 45,000 of the most respected professionals in oncology gather at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. This year the meeting was abuzz with clinical research news about CAR T-cell therapy, including Johnson and Johnson reporting a 100% response rate from its ongoing multiple myeloma (Blood Cancer) trial.

Every year 45,000 of the most respected professionals in oncology gather at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.

This year the meeting was abuzz with clinical research news about CAR T-cell therapy, including Johnson and Johnson reporting a 100% response rate from its ongoing multiple myeloma (Blood Cancer) trial.

CAR T-cell therapy is moving the conversation from treatment towards a cure”. Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most commonly diagnosed blood cancer. In the United States, nearly 74,000 have MM, and an estimated 10,700 will die from the disease this year. Register here for a live investor briefing presented by PTX’s MD & CEO Steven Yatomi Clarke tomorrow at 11am.

CAR T-cell therapy was pioneered by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in 2012 when their research showed positive results from extracting blood from cancer patients and then “teaching” the patient’s own T-cells in their own blood to identify and kill specific cancer cells.

The genius of CAR-T is using the patient’s own blood as personalised medicine

 

We are hosting a special live investor briefing about this exciting space and have two session times available:

  1. Thursday 6 August at 11am AEST.
  2. Wednesday 12 August at 7pm AEST. 

Book your spot.

 

The very first CAR T therapy approved by the US FDA was licensed by Novartis from UPenn in 2012. The therapy, now called Kymriah, is used for certain types of blood cancers. Global Data forecasts Kymriah annual sales to exceed US$1 Billion in 2023, with single treatments priced at ~$500,000 AUD.

UPenn is the original brains behind the CAR-T process and fuelled a multi-billion dollar industry

 

Notwithstanding its ground-breaking success, CAR T has some limitations regarding safety and control. These limitations prevent CAR T being used more broadly, including for the treatment of solid cancers.

The next step in research is to solve the challenges in making CAR T-cell therapy accessible to the greater population, by addressing safety concerns, ensuring it is possible to treat a much broader range of cancers and reducing the cost per dose to allow the treatment to be more viable.

Despite stunning success CAR-T has challenges and limitations

 

And this is where the story gets interesting from an Australian biotechnology perspective. Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX), an ASX-listed company recently announced a next generation CAR T-cell therapy – a universal platform called OmniCAR, based on technology exclusively licensed from UPenn.

A next generation CAR-T cell therapy based on technology licensed from UPenn and Oxford University. 

 

With its universal OmniCAR platform, Prescient believes they will significantly enhance the ability to treat cancers other than blood cancers, including solid tumours in a safe, controlled and targeted way.

OmniCAR overcomes many challenges and limitations of CAR-T

 

And the corporate activity around next-gen CAR-T is heating up! Japans’ Astellas, for example,  bought Xyphos for US$665 million in Dec 2019. Xyphos was in pre-clinical development with their UIR system convertibleCAR at time of acquisition. PTX believes that OmniCAR has several advantages to the convertibleCAR from bought by Astellas. 

Pre-clinical platform Xyphos was acquired for US$665m 

 

How did an Australian company manage to license such an important technology? Hear the story from Prescient Therapeutics MD Steven Yatomi-Clarke on a live investor briefing tomorrow at 11am. Book your spot here.

On the webcast PTX CEO Steven Yatomi-Clarke will provide an update on the company’s next-gen CAR-T asset, enhanced cell therapy capabilities and their other cancer therapy programs.

This is a live and interactive session, and participants will have the opportunity to ask Steven questions directly. 

 

Reach Markets have been engaged by PTX to help manage their investor communications.

 


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