NEW YORK and MONROVIA, Calif., Aug. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cytovia Therapeutics, Inc ("Cytovia"), an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing natural killer (NK) immunotherapies for cancer, today announces that it has acquired worldwide rights from CytoImmune Therapeutics for its novel EGFR Dual-targeting CAR to be used for NK cell therapy. Cytovia will conduct and finance all future development and will apply the EGFR Dual-targeting CAR to its iPSC CAR NK technology. CytoImmune will receive an upfront equity grant in Cytovia, future development milestones, and royalties.
Dr. Daniel Teper, Chairman and CEO of Cytovia added: "We are honored to collaborate with Dr. Caligiuri, a pioneer in translating biological research on NK cells into impactful therapeutics. He has published solid data with intracranial injection of EGFR CAR NK cells to support their clinical development in glioblastoma. Additionally, EGFR is a clinically validated target which will allow us to expand the use of NK cellular therapy in multiple solid tumors."
Pre-clinical proof of concept data with intracranial administration of the EGFR Dual-targeting CAR-NK cells for the treatment of glioblastoma has been published in Nature Scientific Reports. The EGFR Dual-targeting CAR targets glioblastoma cells expressing EGFR wild-type and/or the mutant EGFR vIII. A single intracranial injection of EGFR CAR NK cells reduced the growth of glioblastoma and showed a statistically significant improvement in survival in animal models. The intracranial injection of the EGFR CAR NK cells remained localized in the brain without entering the systemic circulation or infiltrating extracranial organs or tissues, thus limiting toxicity.
Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, the scientific founder of CytoImmune, is joining the Cytovia Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Caligiuri is the Deana and Steve Campbell Physician in Chief Distinguished Chair and President of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, CA. Dr. Caligiuri is a world-renowned physician, scientist, builder, innovator, leader and visionary. He was elected a Member of the National Academy of Medicine for his work on NK cell biology and its clinical applications. He is a past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
Dr Caligiuri commented: "CAR NK cell therapy has the potential to transform cancer outcomes. We are excited to partner with Cytovia to rapidly bring EGFR Dual-targeting CAR NK cells, a next generation therapy, to patients with the ultimate goal of curing glioblastoma. Cytovia's off-the-shelf iPSC CAR NK cell technology should increase the access to precision immunotherapy for many cancer patients."
ABOUT CAR NK CELL THERAPY
Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) are fusion proteins that combine an extracellular antigen recognition domain with an intracellular co-stimulatory signaling domain. Natural Killer (NK) cells are modified genetically to allow insertion of a CAR. CAR NK cell therapy has demonstrated initial clinical relevance without the limitations of CAR-T, such as Cytokine Release Syndrome, neurotoxicity or Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD). Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) - derived CAR NKs are naturally allogeneic, available off-the-shelf and may be able to be administered on an outpatient basis. Recent developments with iPSC, an innovative technology, allow large quantities of homogeneous genetically modified CAR NK cells to be produced from a master cell bank, and thus hold promise to expand access of cell therapy for many patients.
Glioblastoma affects 290,000 new patients every year worldwide. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy lack specificity and provide limited efficacy along with high toxicity. The median overall survival from the time of diagnosis is only 14.6 months. Systemic and particularly intracranial or intratumoral immunotherapy, which can target localized and infiltrating cells, has shown initial promise in early clinical trials.
ABOUT CYTOVIA THERAPEUTICS, INC
Cytovia Therapeutics Inc is an emerging biotechnology company that aims to accelerate patient access to transformational immunotherapies, addressing several of the most challenging unmet medical needs in cancer and severe acute infectious diseases. Cytovia focuses on Natural Killer (NK) cell biology and is leveraging multiple advanced patented technologies, including an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform for CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptors) NK cell therapy, next-generation precision gene-editing to enhance targeting of NK cells, and NK engager multi-functional antibodies. Our initial product portfolio focuses on both hematological malignancies such as multiple myeloma and solid tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma and glioblastoma. The company partners with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Learn more at www.cytoviatx.com
ABOUT CYTOIMMUNE THERAPEUTICS
CytoImmune Therapeutics (CytoImmune) is biotechnology company focused on the application of proprietary chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) for use in both off-the-shelf human natural killer (NK) cells and autologous cytotoxic effector T cells in the treatment of liquid and solid tumors. Our CoalesceNT™ platform harnesses the power of both a specific CAR and a different secretory bispecific antibody in a single construct to coordinate an immune response with CAR NK cells, cytolytic effector T cells, NK-T cells and g/d T cells. This combination of NK- and T-cell therapy expedites time-to-treatment and delivers a dynamic response that reflects both innate and adaptive immunity in an effort to reduce tumor evasion and the incidence of cancer recurrence.
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