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Fate and MSK expand oncology license deal
SAN DIEGO—Fate Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders, announced May 16 that it had gained access to additional intellectual property from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) that enables the development of gene-edited T cell immunotherapies. The newly licensed portfolio of intellectual property covers new chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) constructs as well as off-the-shelf CAR-T cells, including the use of CRISPR and other innovative technologies for their production.
Fate Therapeutics is utilizing gene editing under its ongoing collaboration for the research and development of off-the-shelf CAR T-cell immunotherapies with Dr. Michel Sadelain, director of the Center for Cell Engineering and the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair at MSK.
“Engineering stem cells and using master iPSC [induced pluripotent stem cell] lines for the renewable production of off-the-shelf CAR T cells has the potential to advance the cancer immunotherapy landscape,” said Sadelain. “We are pleased with the breakthrough discoveries accomplished under our ongoing collaboration with Fate Therapeutics, and look forward to continuing our advancement together of off-the-shelf CAR-T cell products toward clinical development.”
The use of clonal master iPSC lines can overcome the complexity, heterogeneity and substantial costs associated with using cells from a patient or an allogeneic donor. Instead, iPSC-derived T cell immunotherapies can be consistently and repeatedly mass produced and delivered in an off-the-shelf manner, significantly reducing the cost of, and time to, patient treatment.
“The use of a gene-edited master iPSC line for the manufacture of off-the-shelf T cell immunotherapies ensures complete removal of endogenous TCR expression, which is critical to avoid the life-threatening complication of graft-versus-host disease that is seen in allogeneic T cell therapy,” explained Scott Wolchko, president and CEO of Fate Therapeutics. “The incorporation of these latest MSK technologies into our development of FT819 and our iPSC product platform advances our leadership position in developing off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapies with improved safety, enhanced potency and expanded therapeutic reach.”
Fate Therapeutics has exclusively licensed from MSK intellectual property covering the production and composition of iPSC-derived T cells for human therapeutic use. In addition, Fate Therapeutics owns an extensive intellectual property portfolio that broadly covers compositions and methods for the genome editing of iPSCs using CRISPR and other nucleases, including the use of CRISPR to insert a CAR in the TRAC locus for endogenous transcriptional control.