MD Anderson Cancer Center and Adaptimmune form strategic alliance to advance development of immunotherapies targeting multiple cancers

Adaptimmune Therapeutics and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced today they have entered into a multi-year strategic alliance designed to expedite the development of novel adoptive T-cell therapies for multiple types of cancer.

The alliance pairs MD Anderson’s preclinical and clinical teams with Adaptimmune’s scientists and proprietary SPEAR® (Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor) T-cell technology platform, which enables Adaptimmune to identify targets expressed on solid and hematologic cancers and to develop affinity enhanced T-cell receptors (TCRs) with optimal potency and specificity against them.

The teams will collaborate in a number of areas including preclinical and clinical development of Adaptimmune’s SPEAR T-cell therapies targeting MAGE-A10 and future clinical stage first and second generation SPEAR T-cell therapies such as MAGE-A4 across a number of cancers, including bladder, lung, ovarian, head and neck, melanoma, esophageal and gastric cancers. The alliance will also drive research and development of other new SPEAR TCR therapies to targets in other tumor types such as breast cancers and facilitate clinical study participation by MD Anderson in other Adaptimmune trials. 

Access to MD Anderson’s tumor repository will guide further target selection and clinical trial design, while its cancer immunology cores and expertise in performing translational medicine studies may help optimize the efficacy and safety of SPEAR T-cell therapies.

 “At MD Anderson, we focus on providing the best possible care for cancer patients, including implementing important new technologies and treatment modalities,” said Elizabeth Mittendorf, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Breast Surgical Oncology.

David Hong, M.D., associate professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson added that, “It is our hope this alliance will allow us to address numerous solid tumors and augment the patient’s immune system, directing it against tumors based on their specific molecular makeup.”

“We believe that this strategic alliance will provide a strong partnership for the development of multiple new first and subsequent generation SPEAR T-cell therapies against many intractable solid tumors in our near-term clinical programs,” said Rafael Amado, Adaptimmune’s chief medical officer. “It will also generate invaluable data from patient samples that will help us understand these therapies and design the next generation of studies. We are very proud to form this alliance with the outstanding team of cancer immunologists at MD Anderson, and are confident that together we can move these novel immunotherapeutic candidates forward for patients who are fighting a variety of cancers.”