In collaboration with NEON Therapeutics (now BioNTech US), we set out 4 years ago to develop a platform to induce and expand T cells from peripheral blood of cancer patients specific for so-called neo-antigens, which are derived from cancer-specific mutations. In October 2020, the first clinical trial utilizing this strategy will start in patients with metastatic melanoma. This work required a consorted action and our knowledge synergized to be able to come to a very robust production platform, which we now will test clinically.
The collaboration with Neogene Therapeutics is based on their strategy to obtain the T cell receptor(TCR) genes from a simple biopsy that encode neoantigen-specific TCRs. We collaborate to use novel gene editing technologies which allow us to express these TCRs in autologous T cells. We aim to start testing this approach in the clinic in 2022.
Click here for the Neon Therapeutics news item.