How Prescient Therapeutics aims to lead a ‘stepwise change’ in cancer treatments
Several major pharmaceutical companies have cautioned they’re unable to widely use revolutionary CAR-T cancer treatments, until an “off-the-shelf product” becomes available – highlighting the need to address current technology bottlenecks to drive down costs, and bring CAR-T therapy to more patients.
Several major pharmaceutical companies have cautioned they’re unable to widely use revolutionary CAR-T cancer treatments, until an “off-the-shelf product” becomes available – highlighting the need to address current technology bottlenecks to drive down costs, and bring CAR-T therapy to more patients. Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX) is working to address exactly these bottlenecks.
Speaking to guests of Reach Markets’ recent Investor Briefing, Prescient’s Chief Executive Officer Steven Yatomi Clarke likened the current state of CAR T treatments to heart-transplants in the 1970s – possible, but time-consuming and costly.
And while the federal government and the pharmaceutical industry are incredibly supportive of these treatments, making them widely available to patients will require a “stepwise change” in the industry first.
“I’ve spoken to big pharma companies that have said they can’t touch CAR-T until they have the ability to deliver several hundred thousand doses per year. With current-generation CAR-T, this is simply prohibitive,” Mr Yatomi Clarke said.
“One advance that has the potential to make a step-wise change is off-the-shelf cell therapies – and OmniCAR can work with those. If we imagine the future of CAR-T, they are not just readily available T cells, they will also be controllable, adaptable and customisable. This is where OmnICAR can play a huge role, as a “plug-and-play” for T cells.”
Prescient Therapeutics’ OmniCAR platform is a next-generation CAR-T treatment which Mr Yatomi Clarke said will help to reduce the cost of treating patients. Regular CAR-T therapies work by taking blood from a cancer patient, then re-engineering the immune system’s T-cells so they can identify and attack cancerous tumours. These modified T-cells are then reintroduced to the body, where they multiply themselves and begin to destroy the cancer.
But these current generation CAR-T cells can only attack one target and doctors are unable to control the level of CAR-T cell activity after the modified immune cells are infused back into the body – problems OmniCAR could overcome.
OmniCAR also allows doctors to switch out the targeting ligand – a type of ‘signalling’ molecule in a cell – to redirect modified T cells to a new target.
These features mean patients shouldn’t require multiple manufacturing runs to battle their cancer, and will be compatible with allogeneic (off-the-shelf) T-cells – helping drive down treatment costs.
Register your details on PTX’s Investor Centre to stay up to date on the research they are undertaking in this area.
Reach Markets have been engaged by PTX to help manage their investor communications.
- Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, CAR T-Cell Therapy
- Prescient Therapeutics, Technology
- Reach Markets, Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX) Webcast Replay 21 January 2021
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