MD Anderson, Invectys and CTMC announce strategic collaboration for CAR T cell therapy development
MD Anderson News Release June 16, 2022
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Invectys, Inc. and the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center (CTMC), a joint venture between MD Anderson and National Resilience, Inc., today announced a strategic collaboration to jointly develop a reliable, compliant and scalable process for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for solid tumors.
The collaboration will build upon the HLA-G platform pioneered by Invectys to advance novel CAR T cell therapies through preclinical development with CTMC into early-phase clinical studies at MD Anderson. The collaboration brings Invectys’ technology together with the cell therapy development and manufacturing expertise of CTMC and the clinical trials expertise of MD Anderson.
Uniting the complementary capabilities of Resilience and MD Anderson, CTMC was launched to accelerate the development and manufacturing of innovative cell therapies for patients with cancer.
“This agreement is truly about joining the strengths of each collaborator for the benefit of cancer patients,” said Praveen Tyle, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Invectys. “Invectys is a cancer immunotherapy company developing novel approaches to target HLA-G. With our combined expertise and shared goals, we can act quickly to advance impactful new cell therapies.”
The HLA-G molecule is a powerful modulator of the human immune system that is normally found during pregnancy, when it acts to protect the fetus from rejection by the mother’s immune system. However, HLA-G is aberrantly expressed in cancer, making it an attractive tumor-specific antigen because the HLA-G tumor cells suppress a patient’s own innate immune responses. Invectys’ technology is designed to target and remove tumor cells that express HLA-G, thus reducing these immunosuppressive effects and thereby reactivating the patient’s own immune system.
“Immunotherapies have revolutionized the treatment landscape for cancer, but currently approved treatments are able to overcome immune suppression only in limited groups of patients,” said Aung Naing, M.D., professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson. “This novel HLA-G technology can revitalize immune cells by identifying and killing solid tumor cancer cells, thereby offering the potential to improve treatment outcomes for a wider group of cancer patients.”
Together with researchers at Invectys, the CTMC team will work to develop a clinical-grade HLA-G targeted CAR T cell therapy for solid tumors that can be produced at scale. The collaboration will facilitate therapeutic development toward a Phase I clinical trial to be co-led by Naing and Samer Srour, M.D., assistant professor of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at MD Anderson.
“CTMC was established to accelerate patient impact by addressing the hurdles associated with the development and manufacturing of cell therapies,” said Jason Bock, Ph.D., chief executive officer of CTMC. “We are excited to work with the Invectys team and their unique technology to enable the anti-HLA-G CAR T cell therapy to reach its full potential, hopefully bringing an effective new treatment option to patients in need.”
MD Anderson has an institutional conflict of interest with National Resilience, Inc. and the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center due to MD Anderson’s ownership interest in CTMC. These relationships will be managed according to an MD Anderson Institutional Conflict of Interest Management and Monitoring Plan.