Spinout launched to develop immunotherapy to fight cancer

The Cell Therapy Catapult, the University of Birmingham and Cancer Research UK have recently announced a collaboration to tackle a new immuno-oncology cellular therapy based on gene modifying T cells to target solid tumours.

The project is aimed at translating an academic discovery programme funded by Cancer Research UK and developed by Dr Steven Lee and Professor Roy Bicknell at the University of Birmingham into a commercially viable cell therapy.

The collaborating partners have launched a new company, Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd. This new company will hold all future IP rights to the resultant discoveries.

The project is based on a new generation chimeric antigen receptor T-Cell (CAR-T) immuno-oncology therapy for solid tumours. This involves directing the CAR-T cell towards a new, highly specific marker of tumour angiogenesis, CLEC14a. This therapy will act as a vasculature disruptive agent compromising oxygen supply to the tumours and inhibiting tumour growth. The technology is currently undergoing the final stages of preclinical development, and is planned to enter into clinical trials soon after.

Cancer Research Technology and the University of Birmingham have partnered with The Cell Therapy Catapult to bring their extensive regulatory, clinical, analytical and manufacturing process development expertise into the program, utilising their experience in developing immunotherapies for cancer. The Cell Therapy Catapult will specifically be involved in the project to accelerate the translation of the academic discoveries made in Birmingham with Cancer Research Technology around CAR-T immunotherapies for solid tumours and the CLEC14a target towards a commercially available cell therapy.

“Scientists at University of Birmingham have demonstrated that these new engineered CAR-T cells exhibit anti-tumour effects and therefore have considerable potential as a therapy,” said David Coleman, Head of Spinout Portfolio, University of Birmingham. “We’re delighted to be working with Cancer Research Technology and the Cell Therapy Catapult, through this new spinout company, Chimeric Therapeutics Limited, in order to develop the technology further and into clinical trials.”

For the full release visit Cell Therapy Catapult