MD Anderson and Adaptimmune set their sights on immuno-oncology
PHILADELPHIA, HOUSTON & OXFORD, U.K.—Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc is bringing its expertise in T cell therapeutics even as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center brings its academic and clinical skill to bear, all in a multiyear strategic alliance designed to expedite the development of novel adoptive T cell therapies for multiple types of cancer.
The alliance will pair MD Anderson’s preclinical and clinical teams with Adaptimmune’s scientists and proprietary Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor (SPEAR) T cell technology platform. This platform enables Adaptimmune to identify targets expressed on solid and hematologic cancers and to develop affinity enhanced T cell receptors (TCRs) with optimal potency and specificity against them, according to the company.
Among the areas in which MD Anderson and Adaptimmune teams will collaborate include:
Access to MD Anderson’s tumor repository will aid these efforts, guiding further target selection and clinical trial design, “while its cancer immunology cores and expertise in performing translational medicine studies may help optimize the efficacy and safety of SPEAR T cell therapies,” the partners noted in a news release about the partnership.
“At MD Anderson, we are focused on providing the best possible care for cancer patients, including implementing important new technologies and treatment modalities,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mittendorf, an associate professor of breast surgical oncology.
Added Dr. David Hong, an associate professor of investigational cancer therapeutics at MD Anderson: “It is our hope this alliance will allow us to address numerous solid tumors and augment the patient’s immune system, directing it against tumors based on their specific molecular makeup.”
“We believe that this strategic alliance will provide a strong partnership for the development of multiple new first and subsequent generation SPEAR T cell therapies against many intractable solid tumors in our near-term clinical programs,” commented Rafael Amado, Adaptimmune’s chief medical officer. “It will also generate invaluable data from patient samples that will help us understand these therapies and design the next generation of studies. We are very proud to form this alliance with the outstanding team of cancer immunologists at MD Anderson, and are confident that together we can move these novel immunotherapeutic candidates forward for patients who are fighting a variety of cancers.”
That’s not the only recent news of SPEAR, however. In addition, Adaptimmune announced a week earlier that it had entered into a five-year strategic manufacturing deal with PCT, a Caladrius company—a subsidiary of Caladrius Biosciences—for the supply of Adaptimmune’s SPEAR T cell therapies. Under the contract, Adaptimmune will benefit from exclusive access to an European Union- and U.S. Food and Drug Administration-compliant manufacturing unit at PCT, as well as dedicated specialist staff.
According to Adaptimmune, this relationship with PCT—a contract manufacturer of patient cell therapy products—is intended to provide Adaptimmune with maximum operational flexibility for the manufacture of its SPEAR T cell products from development through clinical manufacturing and into commercialization for approved products.
“PCT is an elite contract manufacturing organization in the field of patient-specific cell therapies, and we are very pleased to strengthen and develop our existing relationship,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Binder-Scholl, Adaptimmune’s chief technology officer. “We have worked with PCT over the past three years and their commitment to high-quality manufacturing, allied to timely delivery, makes them an ideal manufacturing partner for Adaptimmune. This arrangement will also complement well our new manufacturing plant currently under construction in Philadelphia.”
“We are pleased to significantly advance our relationship with Adaptimmune, which began with earlier-phase clinical trials. PCT is committed to adapting our service arrangements to support our client’s evolving needs as they proceed through late-stage trials and into commercial manufacturing,” remarked Dr. Robert A. Preti, president of PCT and senior vice president of manufacturing and technical operations for Caladrius Biosciences. “We appreciate Adaptimmune’s continued trust in PCT’s ability to support the distribution of their groundbreaking technologies in the U.S. and Europe.”