DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CoImmune, Inc., a clinical stage immuno-oncology company working to redefine cancer treatment using best-in-class cellular immunotherapies, today announced a license and collaboration agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to accelerate the adaptation of CoImmune’s proprietary allogeneic CAR-CIK technology platform to treat solid tumors. Under the terms of the agreement, CoImmune is acquiring rights to several technologies developed at MSK. MSK and CoImmune will be using the technologies to adapt CoImmune’s CAR-CIK cells to treat various solid tumors.
“In the past year, CoImmune has made very significant progress in the development of our CAR-CIK technology platform,” said Charles Nicolette, chief executive officer of CoImmune. “The outstanding team at MSK represents the ideal partner to position CoImmune as a scientific leader in the CAR-T solid tumor space.”
The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified cytokine induced killer (CIK) cell platform developed by CoImmune is a variation on CAR-T therapy that is designed to enhance efficacy with greatly reduced toxicity. CIK cells are multifunctional, possessing the killing mechanisms of both T cells and NK cells and are much more resistant to inducing GVHD compared to T cells. Also, CoImmune’s proprietary ‘Sleeping Beauty’ gene transfer technology (SB100X) is more efficient than recombinant viruses and importantly much less prone to off-target mutagenesis than other genetic modification technologies. In a previous clinical trial, CoImmune’s CAR-CIK product for B cell malignancies demonstrated strong clinical efficacy with little to no toxicity.
Solid tumors constitute 95% of the cancer market. Compared to B cell malignancies, CAR-T cells have been shown to be poorly effective against solid tumors due in part to the hostile tumor microenvironment and risk of significant safety issues associated with off-target effects. These new technologies are designed to improve CAR-CIK functionality in the tumor microenvironment and improve the persistence of the allogeneic cells, and were developed by David A. Scheinberg, MD, PhD, Chair of the Sloan Kettering Institute’s Molecular Pharmacology Program and Director of MSK’s Experimental Therapeutics Center, Derek S. Tan, PhD, Chair of the Sloan Kettering Institute’s Chemical Biology Program, and Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD, now Deputy Director and Chair of Medicine, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As a result of the licensing arrangement noted in this release, MSK has institutional financial interests in the technologies and in CoImmune. Drs. Scheinberg, Tan, and Brentjens have intellectual property interests related to the technologies referenced in this release. Additionally, Drs. Scheinberg and Tan have other financial interests related to CoImmune.
About CoImmune, Inc.
CoImmune is a privately held, clinical stage immuno-oncology company that will redefine cancer treatment using best-in-class cellular immunotherapies. Our allogeneic CAR-CIK technology platform for liquid and solid tumors is a variation on CAR-T therapy that is designed to enhanced efficacy with greatly reduced toxicity. Our autologous RNA-loaded dendritic cell technology for solid tumors uses amplified total tumor mRNA to program highly engineered dendritic cells to generate immune responses against neoantigens without the need to identify them.
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