"This promises to be a great step forward for CAR T cell treatment of solid tumors," said Minerva CEO Dr. Cynthia Bamdad. "We are combining Minerva's demonstrated cancer-specific antibodies with MSK's innovative T cell signaling technology that sustains CAR T cell function and persistence."
Minerva is currently in a first-in-human clinical trial for metastatic breast cancers with a CAR T (huMNC2-CAR44) targeting a cleaved form of MUC1 called MUC1* (NCT04020575). MUC1* is the growth factor receptor form of MUC1 that is aberrantly expressed on over 75% of all solid tumors and on over 90% of breast cancers.
CAR T cell persistence, which is the amount of time that infused CAR T cells have the potential to kill tumor cells, is a recognized problem in the revolutionary field of cancer immunotherapy. Since over-activation drives CAR T cell exhaustion, calibrating their activation potential through 1XX mutations in their signaling domain staves off expression of exhaustion molecules that turn CAR T cells off. With this agreement, Minerva will gain non-exclusive access to two of MSK's innovative CAR T technologies, including the 1XX CAR T cell signaling construct, whose activation potential more closely resembles that of naturally occurring T cells. Minerva expects its next-generation anti-MUC1* CAR T cell therapies to have enhanced therapeutic profiles due to their extended persistence.
Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Cell Engineering at MSK and inventor of the 1XX technology said, "We are excited by the prospect of targeting MUC1* with MSK's 1XX CAR technology."
About Minerva Biotechnologies
Minerva Biotechnologies is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immunotherapies for cancer and cellular therapies in regenerative medicine. Minerva's research focuses on the growth factor and growth factor receptor system responsible for the growth and metastasis of cancer cells and for the growth of stem cells in their earliest embryonic state. NCT04020575 is a first-in-human trial of huMNC2-CAR44, an autologous CAR T therapy targeting MUC1* in metastatic breast cancers in patients with MUC1* reactive tumors.
Dr. Sadelain has intellectual property interests in technology licensed by Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) to Minerva. As a result of the licensing arrangement, MSK has financial interests related to Minerva.
Source: Minerva Biotechnologies
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