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January 6, 2016

U.K. Collaboration Aims to Accelerate CAR T-Cell Research

  • Clinical researchers from the United Kingdom today announced a collaborative effort to develop an immuno-oncology treatment based around a new generation of gene-modifying chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T-cell) therapies for solid tumors. The CAR T-cell therapy involves using a vascular disruptive agent to target CLEC14a markers for tumor angiogenesis, thereby inhibiting a tumor’s growth by cutting off its oxygen supply. 

    The collaborative group, made up of researchers from the University of Birmingham, Cancer Research Technology and The Cell Therapy Catapult—two experienced cancer research centers and one independent gene and cell therapy technology development organization, respectively—have established a new company, Chimeric Therapeutics., which will hold all future IP rights to the group’s findings. The partnership between these research and technology groups is expected to produce effective therapies while closing the time gap between R&D and commercial distribution.

    Leads Steven Lee , Ph.D., and Roy Bicknell, D.Phil., of University of Birmingham developed the program in the hope of generating a commercially viable cell therapy. Their groups’ expertise in regulatory, clinical, analytical, and manufacturing development of immunotherapy therapies will get a boost from Cell Therapy Catapult to accelerate the process of moving academic discoveries through the development pipeline and making them into commercially available products.

    University of Birmingham’s David Coleman adds that scientists there “have demonstrated that these new engineered CAR T-cells exhibit anti-tumor effects and therefore have considerable potential as a therapy.”

    Work is currently underway on the final stages of Chimeric's CAR T-cell preclinical development, with clinical trials to begin in the near future.

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