Cell therapy company Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) has reported positive in-vitro data for CHM 0301, its next-generation armoured natural killer (NK) cell platform.
The company said its CHM 0301 NK cell platform builds on the foundation of CHM 0201, which has previously demonstrated safety and early signs of clinical activity in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Colorectal Cancer (CRC) patients. It is now being evaluated in the first clinical trial to combine NK cells with Vactosertib, an oral TGFβ receptor inhibitor.
The CHM 0301 NK cell platform engineers CHM 0201 cells with two 'armouring' enhancements designed to maximise potency and enable the cells to overcome immune-suppressive tumour microenvironments.
CHM 0301 cells express a dominant-negative TGFβ receptor molecule on the cell surface and secrete the immunostimulatory cytokine interleukin 15 (IL-15).
The company said that when evaluated in in-vitro models of human AML and CRC, CHM 0301 demonstrated significant enhancement of TGFβ resistance and potency compared to first-generation CHM 0201 cells.
“The activity of CHM 0301 is highly encouraging and provides compelling support for this platform as the foundation for a new generation of NK cell therapies,” said Dr David Wald, the CHM 0201 NK Cell platform inventor.
During the first six months of the sponsored research collaboration, Dr Wald’s team and Chimeric designed, produced, and characterised CHM 0301 to maximise potency and increase the resistance of CHM 0201 NK cells to TGFβ.
TGFβ is a key immune-suppressive factor expressed in the tumour microenvironment and is known to inhibit the anti-tumour activity of NK cells and T cells3. TGFβ expression has been broadly linked to tumour invasion and metastasis, immune evasion, and poor prognosis across multiple types of cancer.
“We are very pleased with the progress of our collaboration with Dr Wald and his team at CWRU and with the highly promising in vitro results observed to date,” said Dr Eliot Bourk, Chimeric’s chief business officer and head of external innovation. “We look forward to further advancing our next-generation armoured NK platform and initiating work on our lead CAR NK programs for solid tumours as we continue our collaboration.”