As a company, we are committed to making the widespread use of cellular immunotherapy in the fight against cancer and viral infections a reality. We are doing this by developing an industry leading pipeline of naturally occurring and gene-modified immune cell products that can meet medical need.
Naturally occurring T cell products
We aim to generate and use populations of the patient’s own (autologous) naturally occurring T cells. These cells are specifically selected for their ability to recognize cancer-related or viral markers and are activated ex vivo to reverse the inhibition often caused by the tumor micro environment.
Genetically-modified immune cell products
Alternatively, we genetically modify the immune cells with an artificial receptor designed to allow them to specifically recognize and target tumor cells. These artificial receptors are known as chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) as they contain molecular structural elements that are not naturally combined in this way. With our CAR technology we are able to graft a defined specificity onto an immune effector cell.
We apply a similar approach to the artificial modification of the T cell receptor (TCR). This opens up a whole range of additional targetable cancers by allowing the T cell to recognize cancer antigens inside the cancer cell. This is the approach we are employing with this TCR technology.
We are developing a range of donor-derived (allogeneic) virus-specific T cell therapies to manage infectious complications in patients who have undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT).
About 15,0001 allo-HSCT procedures are conducted in Europe each year and an additional 8,0002 in the United States. In patients who have received HSCT, there are variable levels of post-transplant immune deficiency while the transplanted hematopoietic stem cells slowly generate new immune cells.
During this period HSCT patients are susceptible to infection from viruses and other microbes. Viruses that are particularly problematic include CMV (cytomegalovirus) and ADV (adenovirus).
In response, we are developing the Cytovir and RapX product portfolios with Cytovir CMV being commercially available in selected countries in Europe. These product portfolios consist of patient-specific cellular immunotherapies derived from naturally occurring donor T cells which may accelerate antigen-specific immune reconstitution following HSCT3.