Is “next-gen” CAR-T the beginning of the end of cancer?
Cancer is a word we all dread to hear yet a cure for the deadly disease has always felt so far away. However, thanks to huge strides made in cancer treatments, some industry experts believe that we can finally strive towards curative intent.
Cancer is a word we all dread to hear yet a cure for the deadly disease has always felt so far away. However, thanks to huge strides made in cancer treatments, some industry experts believe that we can finally strive towards curative intent. Whilst we are not quite there yet, these technological advances could mark the beginning of the end of cancer.
Prescient Therapies (ASX: PTX) is a pharmaceutical company developing next-generation cancer therapies that are set to revolutionise the way we treat the disease.
“We are now making the biggest strides ever in the history of this illness. I’m very confident that we might be seeing the beginning of the end,” said CEO Steven Yatomi-Clarke when he spoke on The Insider.
In collaboration with some of the world’s most foremost cancer centres, such as Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Oxford University, Peter MacCallum Centre and Moffitt, PTX is progressing two cancer therapies, PTX 100, PTX 200; and a next generation CAR-T platform called “OmniCAR”.
CAR-T therapy is getting the attention of the oncology world. Unprecedented patient responses in certain cancers have fuelled several multibillion dollar acquisitions in recent years. (Slide 41). CAR-T trains the body’s own immune cells to seek and destroy cancer and is seen in the medical community as a turning point in the history of human medicine. One company, Novartis, whose pioneer CAR-T therapy costs $500k, is expected to exceed $1 billion in sales by 2023.
“Blood is collected from the cancer patient. Then the T-cells are separated from the blood. Outside of the body, you put a new receptor on the T-cells so now they’re capable of recognising and binding to a cancer cell and they can then kill it. Millions of these reprogrammed cells are grown outside the body and they’re reintroduced to the body. The patient is effectively getting a turbocharged version of their own immune cells,” said Steven.
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson reported their CAR-T therapy to have a never-seen-before 100% response rate.
“We’ve never seen these types of responses in the history of cancer. Historically, depending on the type of cancer, expected responses rates have been anywhere between 7 to 30%. Data like this is driving many experts to declare CAR-T as the biggest single advancement in the field of cancer. The wonderful news is that CAR-T is still in its infancy – it can only get better from here.” said Steven.
As we have seen many times with the arrival of any revolutionary technology, the first generation of technologies face several challenges and drawbacks. This is the same with current generation CAR-T therapy.
“If we imagine that CAR-T cells are like soldiers fighting cancer cells, then conventional CAR-T cells are soldiers that only have one map, one weapon, they’re only trained to hit one target and once they’re deployed you cannot control or communicate with them,” said Steven.
“OmniCAR, by contrast, can arm these soldiers with any weapon, including several at once. We can give them any map and multiple deployments and we can direct them against any target, including several at once. We have full communication and control,” he explained.
“We’re taking the cancer killing properties of your immune system but we’re giving it the control, predictability and flexibility of a medicine. That’s what the doctors and industry want. It is what they’re used to, and it is what they need,” said Steven.
OmniCAR will not only create next generation CAR-T therapies for Prescient, but it will create collaboration and business development opportunities with other companies wanting to get ahead of the curve in the burgeoning and exciting field of CAR-T therapy.
Join Prescient Therapeutics CEO Steven Yatomi-Clarke this Thursday, 12th November at 11am AEDT in a live online investor briefing where he’ll discuss the company’s promising pipeline of cancer treatments with two targeted therapies, cell therapy enhancements and next CAR-T. Click here to book your spot.
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