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The agreement is for a novel technology that may be able to reshape the administration of chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cell (CAR T) therapies and potentially be used as an off-the-shelf therapy.
FREMONT, CA: Mustang Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on translating today’s medical breakthroughs in cell and gene therapies into potential cures for hematologic cancers, solid tumors, and rare genetic diseases, recently announced that the firm has executed an exclusive license agreement with Mayo Clinic. The agreement is for a novel technology that may be able to reshape the administration of chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cell (CAR T) therapies and potentially be used as an off-the-shelf therapy.
The technology, invented by Larry R. Pease, Ph.D., primary investigator and former head of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Immunology and Immune Therapies, is a two-step strategy to administering CAR T treatment. First, a peptide is given to the patient to stimulate the proliferation of the patient’s own T cells. Following that, a viral CAR construct is administered directly into the patient’s lymph nodes. The viral design then infects the activated T cells, effectively forming CAR T cells in the patient in vivo. With successful implementation, an off-the-shelf solution might be developed without the requirement to identify and expand patient T cells ex vivo.
“We are excited by the possibilities that this novel technology has to offer given our ongoing development of CAR T cell therapies in hematologic and solid tumor cancers,” said Manuel Litchman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Mustang. “The potential use of this technology to facilitate how these treatments are delivered to patients can lead to earlier treatment post diagnosis, and using an off-the-shelf therapy may reduce the cost of care, all of which would help bring more innovative treatments to a broader base of patients in need.”
A preclinical proof-of-concept has been established, and Mayo Clinic will continue to develop this technology.
“The immune cells are activated in vivo using the natural methods employed by the body to deal with infection rather than the artificial activation used to manufacture traditional CAR T cells ex vivo,” said Dr. Pease. “This could potentially reduce the substantial toxicities that are characteristic of traditional CAR T therapy.”
Once a lead construct has been found, Mustang expects to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a multicenter Phase 1 clinical study. The technology mentioned in this release has a financial interest in Mayo Clinic and Dr. Pease. Any funds raised will go toward Mayo Clinic’s non-profit goal of patient care, teaching, and research.