MELBOURNE, Australia, 27 September 2022 – Cartherics, a biotechnology company developing immune cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, together within partner institutions, has received $5.4M Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF) grant to develop a new approach to enhance cancer therapy by engaging the patients’ own immune system to complement CAR cell therapy.
The company, in partnership with The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Central Adelaide Local Health Network and Cell Therapies Pty Ltd, will use the grant to advance clinical research for its immunotherapy solution in solid cancers, which creates ‘off-the-shelf’ functionally enhanced natural killer (NK) cells to treat many patients with a single product and can also engage the patient’s own macrophages in their immune system in tumour destruction.
The grant, for the consortium’s “Gene modified pluripotent stem cells to generate and empower innate immune cells against poor prognosis cancers” application, was awarded under the MRFF Clinical Trials Activity Initiative category. This category is focused on funding research projects moving into clinical trials that test the effectiveness of therapies and treatments and create the evidence needed to improve clinical practice as well as help patients with ovarian and gastric/oesophageal cancers access trials relevant to their health circumstances.
To date, Cartherics has successfully raised more than $30M from international and Australian investors, plus more than $8M in grant funding, including a Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant, which will be completed in November 2022.
CEO of Cartherics, Professor Alan Trounson AO, says “Receiving a MRFF grant is an important validation of the work Cartherics has been doing to find new ways of fighting cancer. Our goal is to use this grant to expand our research into the use of CAR immunotherapy combined with cancer inhibitory gene suppression, in the treatment of solid cancers, with a special focus on ovarian and gastric cancers.
Royal Adelaide Hospital’s Professor Michael Brown, who is the Lead Investigator on the grant, says, “Cartherics’ innovative research program brings hope to those patients with hard-to-treat cancers such as those of the ovaries, stomach and oesophagus. Unfortunately, standard treatments do not work well enough for patients dealing with these cancers. Cartherics’ new approach addresses this unmet need, and my colleagues and I expect to lead the clinical trials that result from this work.”
About the MRFF
The Medical Research Future Fund is a federally funded $40B long-term investment supporting Australian health and medical research. The MRFF aims to transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability.
Cartherics is a biomedical venture seeking to provide cancer patients with sophisticated cell-based off-the-shelf therapies that eliminate cancer safely and efficiently at an affordable price.
Cartherics Media Contact:
Ana Luiza Harrop
M: +61 452 510 255