HaemaLogiX and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre announce CAR-T clinical trial agreement

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Clinical-stage Australian biotech company HaemaLogiX has entered into a co-development agreement with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to conduct the first-in-human Phase 1 trial of its CAR-T immunotherapy, KMA.CAR-T, for kappa-type multiple myeloma.

KMA.CAR-T is a novel immunotherapy that targets a receptor called Kappa Myeloma Antigen (KMA), found only on the surface of myeloma cells in kappa-type multiple myeloma patients and not on normal immune cells, which means normal immune cells are not damaged by the treatment.

Under the agreement, HaemaLogiX and Peter Mac Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy will continue co-developing KMA.CAR-T, following a collaborative preclinical research project that demonstrated proof of concept.

HaemaLogiX said preclinical data shows the anti-KMA CAR-T cells selectively killed KMA-expressing myeloma cell lines and demonstrated potent anti-myeloma activity in a xenograft mouse model.

Dr Rosanne Dunn, HaemaLogiX director, chief scientific officer and founder, said, “CAR-T cell therapy is now a realistic option for myeloma patients who have failed standard-of-care treatments. We’re excited to progress KMA.CAR-T to the clinic in collaboration with Peter Mac, a renowned Australian cancer hospital and research institute that has been involved in the development of many of the CAR-T therapies now approved as treatments.”

Professor Simon Harrison, director of the Peter Mac Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy, added, “CAR-T cell therapy is a game-changer in the treatment of certain blood cancers, such as multiple myeloma. We are delighted to continue our project with HaemaLogiX to translate the preclinical potential of KMA.CAR-T into a novel first-in-human clinical trial therapy.”

The proof of concept trial will be conducted initially in six patients, possibly expanding to twelve.