GSK, Lyell Immunopharma Form Pact for Cancer Cell TherapiesBy
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has formed a five-year collaboration with Lyell Immunopharma, a San Francisco-based adoptive cell therapy biotechnology company, to develop new technologies for cell therapies for treating solid tumors. The collaboration will apply Lyell’s technologies to GSK’s cell-therapy pipeline, including GSK’s antigen-targeting cancer therapy.
Lyell is exploring approaches to improving T cell function and increasing T cell “fitness” to enhance initial response rates in solid tumor cancers and to prevent relapses due to loss of T cell functionality. GSK says these technologies can be used as a platform for multiple new cell and gene therapies as well as to further enhance GSK’s lead program and other cell therapies in its pipeline, which includes GSK3377794, which targets the NY-ESO-1 antigen that is expressed across multiple cancer types.
GSK3377794 uses genetically engineered autologous T cells and is currently in Phase II development. The therapy is being evaluated for patients with relapsed/refractory synovial sarcoma and in other cancer types that also express the NY-ESO-1 target, including non-small cell lung cancer, multiple myeloma, and myxoid/round cell liposarcoma.
The collaboration also builds on GSK’s manufacturing platform and expertise for cell and gene therapy, production of the ex vivo gene therapy, Strimvelis, which was approved in 2016 by the European Medicines Agency for treating severe combined immunodeficiency due to adenosine deaminase deficiency. GSK has granted patents and pending patent applications related to its stable cell-line and has a long-standing collaboration with Miltenyi Biotec, a Cologne, Germany-based company involved in the design, development, manufacture of cell and gene therapies, to improve quality and scale of output to meet the needs of larger patient populations.