Cell Medica is committed to transforming the treatment of cancer through the use of cellular immunotherapy. Through our internal development and collaborations and with leading academic research groups, we are working with three powerful technology platforms to generate safe and effective treatments to address a range of cancer types. Our goal is to develop curative cell-based therapies that can be used safely and reliably for the benefit of patients.
Naturally-occurring T cells
Through proprietary manufacturing and cell processing technology, we are able to activate the patient’s own (autologous) naturally-occurring T cells to recognize and kill malignant cells expressing target cancer antigens. Initial clinical data suggest these cells are safe and can be used in combination with other therapies. Developing cell therapies with minimal side effects will be particularly beneficial for older patients who often have difficulty tolerating certain chemotherapy regimens. The Cell Medica manufacturing process activates the patient’s T cells ex vivo to reverse the inhibition often caused by the tumor micro environment. Our EBV-targeted cell therapy is currently in Phase 2 trials in the US, Europe and South Korea.
CAR-modified NKT cells
Working with Baylor College of Medicine and University of North Carolina, we are developing the use of NKT cells which are genetically modified with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) designed to improve the recognition of target tumor cells. NKT cells have certain biological properties which are well-suited for the treatment of solid tumors and form the basis of our CAR technology platform.
Engineered T cell receptors
In collaboration with University College London and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, we are developing the Dominant TCR technology to enhance the expression of genetically engineered T cell receptors (TCRs) on the surface of a T cell. The use of TCR technology opens up a range of additional targetable cancers as TCRs provided the capability to recognize antigens inside the cancer cell.
Our T-cellerator technology enables us to generate patient-derived (autologous) expanded T cells specific to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), our CMD-003 product, and adapt the cells to express improved functionality even in the hostile micro-environment of a tumor.
The manufacturing process starts with the isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from a patient-derived whole blood sample. T cells in the PBMC fraction are then stimulated with autologous dendritic cells (DCs) and overlapping peptide pools of EBV antigens.
The process also involves expansion steps to obtain cell numbers sufficient for clinical applications and utilises additional cell types such as DCs and also cytokines.
The final product is formulated, cryopreserved and stored prior to shipment to the clinical site for infusion.
We are developing a platform for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technologies that allows for the production of multiple target-specific constructs.
CAR immune cell therapy is based on the selective ex vivo expansion of immune cells derived from patient peripheral blood and consists of four key steps:
Through this process we are able to engineer immune cells that are capable of recognizing and killing cancer cells based on their proteins expressed on the surface of the cancer cell.
Our T cell receptor (TCR) technology is currently in development and is a genetic approach to optimizing the function of TCRs.
The genes of the TCRs are isolated and modified before being introduced to T cells that would otherwise struggle to respond to the cancer or that lack a TCR capable of recognizing the cancer antigen.
We have developed a TCR construct that is capable of recognizing intracellular targets. We aim to optimize the activating capacity of the TCR to enhance anti-tumor activity.