LOS ANGELES & MONROVIA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CytoImmune Therapeutics, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing a novel class of engineered natural killer (NK) cell-based cancer therapies, and City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States today announced that the first patient has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating CYTO-102, a novel cellular therapy consisting of PD-L1-positive tumor-reactive TRACK-NKTM cells. The trial is assessing CYTO-102 as a monotherapy and in combination with atezolizumab in patients with relapsed/refractory non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
This innovative therapy is generated by genetically modifying NK cells to secrete high levels of soluble IL-15, an immune-signaling molecule crucial for optimal antitumor responses with the patient’s own immune system. The engineered NK cells are primed with cytokines IL-12 and IL-18 along with other signals during manufacturing to induce PD-L1 expression. The PD-L1-positive TRACK-NKTM cells are naturally directed to the tumor microenvironment where they are designed to kill the cancer cells as well as to coordinate the adaptive or T cell response by the patient’s own immune system.
“We are thrilled to initiate patient dosing with CYTO-102, in partnership with City of Hope, which marks our transition into a clinical-stage company and brings us an important step closer to understanding the potential our tumor-reactive NK cell-based therapies may have for treating patients with cancer,” said Christina Coughlin, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of CytoImmune. “We’ve engineered CYTO-102 to be an off-the-shelf cell therapy that can directly kill cancer cells, broadly stimulate the body’s own endogenous immune system, and enhance tumor killing through generation of a highly effective immune response ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes. We look forward to advancing this trial in an effort to bring the next generation of cellular therapies to patients in need.”
“City of Hope is committed to making a difference in the lives of patients with cancer with a goal of transforming the future of cancer care,” said Michael Caligiuri, M.D., president of City of Hope National Medical Center, Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair and CytoImmune’s scientific founder. “NSCLC continues to be a challenging cancer to treat and despite advancements, too many patients are left without durable and effective options. We are pleased to advance this novel cellular therapy together with CytoImmune, which could offer patients with NSCLC a promising new treatment option.”
The Phase 1, dose escalation clinical trial will evaluate the safety and tolerability, as well as key biologic endpoints of CYTO-102, including NK cell persistence and trafficking, tumor microenvironment changes and endogenous T and NK cell recruitment by CYTO-102, as both a monotherapy and in combination with atezolizumab, a PD-L1 inhibitor. The trial will enroll approximately 21 patients with relapsed or difficult-to-treat NSCLC. Details regarding the study can be found here.
CytoImmune Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to utilize the power of the engineered effector cells to activate the patient’s immune system to effectively eliminate cancer cells.
The company is advancing a differentiated pipeline of off-the-shelf tumor-reactive NK cell therapies in non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumors, as well as acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma, using proprietary, robust and well characterized NK cell expansion and engineering technologies that are designed to provide effector cell therapy with broad immune stimulation, to enable effective tumor killing in both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. For more information, please visit Cytoimmune.com.
About City of Hope
City of Hope’s mission is to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today. Founded in 1913, City of Hope has grown into one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and one of the leading research centers for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. As an independent, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope brings a uniquely integrated model to patients, spanning cancer care, research and development, academics and training, and innovation initiatives. Research and technology developed at City of Hope has been the basis for numerous breakthrough cancer medicines, as well as human synthetic insulin and monoclonal antibodies. A leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy, such as CAR T cell therapy, City of Hope’s personalized treatment protocols help advance cancer care throughout the world.
With a goal of expanding access to the latest discoveries and leading-edge care to more patients, families and communities, City of Hope’s growing national system includes its main Los Angeles campus, a network of clinical care locations across Southern California, a new cancer center in Orange County, California, scheduled to open in 2022, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. City of Hope’s affiliated family of organizations includes Translational Genomics Research Institute and AccessHopeTM. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.