Policy & Regulation
City of Hope Enters Licensing Agreements with CytoImmune Therapeutics to Develop Portfolio of Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Natural Killer Therapies
8 April 2021 - - California, US-based cancer research and treatment center city of Hope and clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company CytoImmune Therapeutics Inc have entered into worldwide exclusive license agreements, the principals said.

The agreements include licenses to several patent applications related to methods to generate large numbers of fully functional natural killer cells derived from umbilical cord blood and compositions of chimeric receptors for targeting NK cells to tumors.

They include a prostate stem cell antigen CAR to treat pancreatic, gastric, bladder, prostate and some lung cancers, a programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)+ NK cell for use in treating lung cancer, and fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 CAR NK cell therapy for use in treating acute myeloid leukemia.

The licensed technologies are based on discoveries by CytoImmune co-founders Jianhua Yu, Ph.D., professor, city of Hope Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, and Michael A. Caligiuri, M.D., president, city of Hope National Medical Center, who together have over 55 years of experience in NK cell biology and more than 500 original, peer-reviewed publications on NK cells and cancer.

CAR NK therapies are designed to harness the power of NK cells, from healthy donors, that are in turn "engineered" to aggressively treat patients with cancer while minimizing the side effects of treatment.

City of Hope, a recognized leader in CAR T cell therapies for solid and blood cancers, has treated more than 600 patients since its CAR T research started in the late 1990s.

The institution continues to have one of the most comprehensive CAR T cell GMP facilities and CAR T cell clinical research programs in the world with nearly 50 CAR T cell trials currently taking place at city of Hope or about to open.

Yu and Caligiuri also have many patents between them for many firsts in human NK cell development, survival, activation, in vivo modulation and preclinical models of human NK CAR therapy for cancer.

Over 1,000 cancer patients have been treated on protocols designed or co-designed by Caligiuri using cytokine therapies to modulate NK cells.

CytoImmune Therapeutics is translating into the clinic a CAR NK cell platform targeting AML, B cell malignancies and multiple myeloma, as well as pancreatic, gastric, bladder, prostate and lung cancer.

Investigational new drug filings are in process or planned for the use of CAR NK cells in these liquid and solid tumors in 2021.

CytoImmune Therapeutics was founded on the natural killer cell expansion and transduction technology pioneered by Yu and Caligiuri.

The company is focused on expanding its manufacturing technologies to enable numerous clinical studies in a variety of different cancers.

City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Founded in 1913, city of Hope is in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. city of Hope's translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world.
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