Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) consist of antibody fragments recognizing cancer antigens fused to T cell signaling components. When introduced into patient\'s own T cells (autologous CAR T\'s), these molecules
Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) consist of antibody fragments recognizing cancer antigens fused to T cell signaling components. When introduced into patient\’s own T cells (autologous CAR T\’s), these molecules mediate fast and efficient recognition and killing of cancer cells expressing the target of interest. Autologous CAR T against hematological targets have shown significant efficacy in the clinic, demonstrating unprecedented complete response rates with approximately half the patients who respond to therapy achieving durable long-term remission. This data has led to commercialization of the first two autologous anti-CD19 CAR therapies, Kymriah™ and Yescarta™.
Autologous CAR T therapy, while very effective, has some limitations. Efficacy of the CAR T product can be impacted by the behavior of the patient cells, with prior lines of treatment and sometimes the nature of the disease itself, impacting the health, proliferative capacity and cytotoxic activity of the cells. This, along with the logistics of patient cell collection and the length of time required to make the cells may impact which patients are eligible for therapy based on disease progression. Finally, every patient\’s cells are manufactured individually, which means that due to lack of scale, the overall cost of manufacturing is high.
Allogeneic CAR T therapy is the process of making CAR T cells from T cells harvested from healthy donors. These cells are modified to eliminate the TCR which inhibits the ability of an infused cell to recognize the host as foreign, thereby meaning that the only thing the allogeneic cells recognize is the cancer cells they are intended to target. While allogeneic CAR T research is at an earlier stage, encouraging Phase 1 clinical data demonstrates the promise of this therapy for more patients. The talk will highlight the clinical data available to date and the overall research strategy to develop a pipeline of allogeneic CAR T therapies across a range of hematological and solid tumor indications.
(Wednesday) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm