The future of cancer treatment – combining stem cells and immunotherapy
Cartherics’ mission is the development of novel, “off-the-shelf” (allogeneic) immune therapy products for the treatment of cancer based on immune killer cells – such as Natural Killer (NK) cells and T cells – armed with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) that target cancer antigens, and gene edited to overcome the suppression of natural killer function used by cancer cells to protect themselves against immune cell eradication.
The initial target cancers for Cartherics’ immune stem cell products are adenocarcinomas and, in particular, ovarian cancer. The target indications will be expanded to gastric, pancreatic, prostate, small cell lung cancer and triple negative breast cancer as Cartherics advances its development program.
Cartherics has an extensive and growing patent portfolio, complemented by agreements providing access to key third party technology for gene edited immunotherapies. First in human clinical trials using the iPSC derived “off-the-shelf” killer cells are expected in 2023/24.
The company has a strong leadership team, experienced in immunology, stem cell biology, commercialisation and product development in immune therapies, with deep connections to academia. As an adjunct to its R&D activities, the company trains graduate students through PhD programs that are attached to Monash University.
- Cartherics has close ties with Cell Therapies, The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PMCC) Centre of Excellence in Immunotherapies, Monash University, The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, ToolGen Inc and a number of other institutions and companies worldwide.
- In addition to its allogeneic products, Cartherics has undertaken early development of two autologous CAR-T products, which are in the process of being divested into a separate entity. Clinical trials in cutaneous T cell lymphoma and ovarian cancer will be undertaken by the new company in collaboration with PMCC, with an anticipated commencement in 2022/23.