Making CAR-T “Druggable”

The terrible news this week that Tmunity Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotherapeutics company, has halted the development of its lead CAR-T therapy following the deaths of two patients

The terrible news this week that Tmunity Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotherapeutics company, has halted the development of its lead CAR-T therapy following the deaths of two patients, has shone a tragic light on the need for “next generation” CAR-T therapies to address the massive unmet need of treating solid tumours in cancer.  This article has been written in response to many investor enquiries received by Prescient Therapeutics in the last week as to how CAR-T safety can be improved.

CAR-T is a therapy comprising living cells that proliferate without control once administered to the patient.  Current generation CAR-T has proven spectacularly successful in haematological or blood cancers, but the same success has thus far eluded researchers when it comes to more prevalent and complex solid cancers such as breast and brain cancer.  

The news this week of CAR-T related deaths have sparked renewed focus on next-generation technologies to produce safer CAR-T therapies.  

“This tragic news has reminded certain industry observers what the industry itself has never lost sight of: that safety remains a paramount consideration in CAR-T development.” said Steven Yatomi Clarke, CEO of Prescient Therapeutics. “This is especially important in solid tumours, where CAR-T can have trouble distinguishing between cancer cells and healthy tissue.  This challenge is exacerbated with current-generation CAR-T that don’t have controllable activity and cannot be switched off.”   

“This is the problem we are seeking to solve with OmniCAR: making CAR-T “druggable”. By this, I mean that OmniCAR turns living CAR-T cells into a therapy that is controllable and predictable.  It can even be switched off altogether if required.  It puts safety and control of CAR-T back into the hands of clinicians, which is what they are used to when administering conventional medicines.”

Prescient’s OmniCAR platform, incorporating technology licenced from University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University.  Precinct is developing three next-generation products with OmniCAR to address acute myeloid leukemia; Her2 positive solid tumours and glioblastoma multiforme.  Additionally, OmniAR can be incorporated into third party programs wishing to develop safer and more adaptable CAR-T therapies.

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