Avacta in CAR-T Cell Therapy PactBy
Avacta, a Wetherby, UK-based biotherapeutics and research reagents company, has formed a research collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to evaluate the use of Avacta’s Affimer technology in CAR-T cell-based immunotherapy. CAR-T immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the patient’s own immune system T-cells, which are modified for potency to attack cancer cells.
Avacta’s Affimer technology is an engineered alternative to antibodies based on a small protein, the cystatin protein fold, and are being developed as an alternative to be antbody drug fragments used in CAR-T cell modification. The collaboration with MSK will be led by Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD, Director of Cellular Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
As part of the collaboration Avacta will develop Affimer molecules that bind CD19, a surface protein specific to B-cells involved in lymphomas. Dr Brentjens’ team will construct CAR-T cells incorporating these Affimer molecules and test their anti-tumor function in vitro and in in vivo animal efficacy models. Under the agreement, the ownership of the results generated directly as part of this collaboration will be shared between Avacta and MSK.