The oral presentation will highlight preclinical data for FT536, the Company's off-the-shelf, multiplexed-engineered, iPSC-derived, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK cell product candidate that uniquely targets the α3 domain of the MHC class I related proteins A (MICA) and B (MICB). In a recent publication in Cancer Immunology Research (DOI: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-19-0483), Kai W. Wucherpfennig, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and co-leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Center, demonstrated that cancers with loss of MHC Class I expression can be effectively targeted with MICA/B α3 domain-specific antibodies to restore NK cell-mediated immunity against solid tumors. The FT536 program is supported by an exclusive license from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to intellectual property covering novel antibody fragments binding MICA/B for iPSC-derived cellular therapeutics. The Company expects to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for FT536 in the fourth quarter of 2021 for the treatment of advanced solid tumors, including in combination with monoclonal antibody therapy.
Poster presentations at SITC will include preclinical data on new functional elements that the Company is evaluating for incorporation into its iPSC-derived cell product candidates for solid tumors. These synthetic features include engineered chemokine receptors, which the Company has demonstrated can enhance the trafficking and homing of iPSC-derived CAR T cells to tumors, and synthetic TGFβ re-direct receptors, which the Company has shown can exploit immuno-suppressive cytokines found in the tumor microenvironment to potentiate iPSC-derived CAR T cells and improve anti-tumor activity.
About MICA and MICB Proteins
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I related proteins A (MICA) and B (MICB) are induced by cellular stress, damage or transformation, and the expression of MICA and MICB proteins has been reported for many tumor types. Cytotoxic lymphocytes, such as NK cells and CD8+ T cells, can detect and bind the membrane-distal α1 and α2 domains of MICA/B, activating a potent cytotoxic response. However, cancer cells frequently evade immune cell recognition by proteolytic shedding of the α1 and α2 domains of MICA/B. The clinical importance of proteolytic shedding is reflected in the association of high serum concentrations of shed MICA/B with disease progression in many solid tumors. Several recent publications have shown that therapeutic antibodies targeting the membrane-proximal α3 domain strongly inhibited MICA/B shedding, resulting in a substantial increase in the cell surface density of MICA/B and restoration of NK cell-mediated tumor immunity (DOI:10.1126/science.aao0505). Therapeutic approaches aimed at targeting the α3 domain of MICA/B therefore represent a potentially promising novel strategy to overcome this prominent evasion mechanism as a means of restoring anti-tumor immunity.
About Fate Therapeutics' iPSC Product Platform
The Company's proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) product platform enables mass production of off-the-shelf, engineered, homogeneous cell products that can be administered with multiple doses to deliver more effective pharmacologic activity, including in combination with other cancer treatments. Human iPSCs possess the unique dual properties of unlimited self-renewal and differentiation potential into all cell types of the body. The Company's first-of-kind approach involves engineering human iPSCs in a one-time genetic modification event and selecting a single engineered iPSC for maintenance as a clonal master iPSC line. Analogous to master cell lines used to manufacture biopharmaceutical drug products such as monoclonal antibodies, clonal master iPSC lines are a renewable source for manufacturing cell therapy products which are well-defined and uniform in composition, can be mass produced at significant scale in a cost-effective manner, and can be delivered off-the-shelf for patient treatment. As a result, the Company's platform is uniquely capable of overcoming numerous limitations associated with the production of cell therapies using patient- or donor-sourced cells, which is logistically complex and expensive and is subject to batch-to-batch and cell-to-cell variability that can affect clinical safety and efficacy. Fate Therapeutics' iPSC product platform is supported by an intellectual property portfolio of over 350 issued patents and 150 pending patent applications.
About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.
Fate Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of first-in-class cellular immunotherapies for patients with cancer. The Company has established a leadership position in the clinical development and manufacture of universal, off-the-shelf cell products using its proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) product platform. The Company's immuno-oncology pipeline includes off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived natural killer (NK) cell and T-cell product candidates, which are designed to synergize with well-established cancer therapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies, and to target tumor-associated antigens using chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). Fate Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.fatetherapeutics.com .
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements regarding the Company's clinical studies and preclinical research and development programs, its ongoing and planned clinical studies, and the safety and therapeutic potential of the Company's product candidates. These and any other forward-looking statements in this release are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk that the Company's product candidates may not demonstrate the requisite safety or efficacy to achieve regulatory approval or to warrant further development, the risk that results observed in prior studies of the Company's product candidates, including preclinical studies and clinical trials of any of its product candidates, will not be observed in ongoing or future studies involving these product candidates, the risk of a delay or difficulties in the manufacturing of the Company's product candidates or in the initiation of, or enrollment of patients in, any clinical studies, the risk that the Company may cease or delay preclinical or clinical development of any of its product candidates for a variety of reasons (including requirements that may be imposed by regulatory authorities on the initiation or conduct of clinical trials, the amount and type of data to be generated, or otherwise to support regulatory approval, difficulties or delays in patient enrollment and continuation in the Company's ongoing and planned clinical trials, difficulties in manufacturing or supplying the Company's product candidates for clinical testing, and any adverse events or other negative results that may be observed during preclinical or clinical development), and the risk that its product candidates may not produce therapeutic benefits or may cause other unanticipated adverse effects. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause the Company's actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the Company's most recently filed periodic report, and from time to time in the Company's press releases and other investor communications. Fate Therapeutics is providing the information in this release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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