City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, has licensed intellectual property relating to PMB-101 under a Licensing and Collaboration agreement with PeproMene. City of Hope will also conduct the proposed first in-human, Phase 1 clinical trial.
The proposed trial is a single-center, open-label trial and will examine the safety and preliminary efficacy of BAFF-R-CAR T cells in cancer patients with r/r/ B-ALL who are ineligible for or have failed CD19-targeted immunotherapy in the U.S.
PMB-101 is a novel CAR T cell therapy which has shown synergistic activity in CD-19 resistant or relapsed animal models in preclinical trials. Animal models with CD19 therapy-resistant human-tumors (including Burkitt, mantel cell, and other non-Hodgkin's lymphoma subtypes and acute lymphoblastic leukemia) received BAFF-R CAR T therapy. Remarkable tumor regression and prolonged survival were observed after treatment with these CAR T cells. In animal models with human Burkitt lymphoma, BAFF-R CAR T therapy achieved complete tumor regression with 100% long-term survival. The research was published in Science Translational Medicine .
"City of Hope is excited to leverage the numerous and very promising pre-clinical model outcomes of our investigational CAR-T project and to explore its effect in cancer patients for whom few treatments are currently available," said Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., vice president and deputy director of City of Hope's comprehensive cancer center, who along with Hong Qin, Ph.D., are inventors on the licensed intellectual property and Scientific Advisory Board members of PeproMene.
Bryan HW Kim, CEO of PeproMene added: "We are very pleased to announce this important milestone after only three years of the company's existence; we are grateful to the scientific founders for advancing our project and to our shareholders for their support. We look forward to collaborating closely with leading clinical investigators at City of Hope and the FDA to validate the safety of PMB-101 in humans in a controlled clinical setting."
About PeproMene's PMB-101
BAFF (B cell activating factor), a soluble cytokine expressed by B cells, is known for its proliferation and differentiation. In particular, BAFF-R (B cell activating factor receptor) is an excellent potential target for B-cell cancers not only because of its specificity to BAFF, but also for its expression level by lympho-proliferative as well as leukemia-proliferative disorders. Successful discovery of anti-BAFF-R humanized monoclonal antibodies (humAbs) C55 and C90 demonstrate high binding affinity to various Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas (NHLs). The PeproMene BAFF-R CAR-T was constructed based on the single-chain fragment variable (scFv) antibodies using 2nd generation signaling domains. Research has found that BAFF-R CAR-T cells kill lymphomas and leukemias in vitro and kill established lymphomas as well as leukemias in vivo. During the completion of the IND enabling studies, the company's scientific and medical founders made key publications:
"Antitumor efficacy of BAFF-R targeting CAR T cells manufactured under clinic-ready conditions" (25. May 2020: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00262-020-02614-8 
"CAR-T cells targeting BAFF-R can overcome antigen loss in B cell malignancies" (Sep 2019: https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/511/eaaw9414?rss=1 )
PeproMene Bio, Inc. is a clinical-stage private company developing treatments for critically ill patients. The company is developing novel immune-oncology therapies, such as a BAFF-R CAR-T therapy, based on novel antibodies. The BAFF-R CAR-T therapy program, which was discovered and developed by Kwak's laboratory at City of Hope, Duarte, California, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, was licensed exclusively from City of Hope; PeproMene Bio is located in Irvine, California, in close proximity to City of Hope.
SOURCE PeproMene Bio, Inc.