SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cytonus Therapeutics Inc. announced today that it has developed Cargocytes™ a first-of-its-kind, controllable, cell-based platform technology for delivery of biologics.
Cargocytes are engineered allogenic cell lines that can carry a variety of payloads like small molecule compounds, gene editing therapies, therapeutic RNAs, and powerful biologics such as immune modulating cytokines, antibodies and oncolytic viruses.
“Our technology revolutionizes the ability of cells to transport vital therapeutic payloads to targeted tissues in a safe, controllable, predictable and precise manner,” said Remo Moomiaie-Qajar, M.D., president and CEO of Cytonus. “We believe our Cargocytes have many structural and functional attributes making them the most versatile and capable cell-based drug delivery platform. Our different approach is well suited to address some of the most difficult to treat cancers and expands the possibilities of using various payloads to influence the immune system for many medical applications.”
Adoptive Cellular Therapies (ACTs), such as Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) and T cells expressing Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs), are currently being tested and used to treat blood cancers, but do not work well on solid tumors. They are also hindered by the need for a specific antigen target, long development times, adverse patient reactions, rapid degradation and a complex manufacturing process.
“Cargocytes are unique in that they reduce adverse reactions, improve the efficiency of payload delivery, reduce the required dosing regimen, allow a cell therapy to be dosed multiple times using basic pharmacokinetic principles, and mediate anti-cancer immunity against solid tumors and metastases,” Moomiaie-Qajar said. “All these benefits have been demonstrated in preclinical studies over the last three years as we have worked to improve the capability of our unique cell therapy platform.”
Cytonus Therapeutics Inc. is a spinout biotechnology company based on work done by founder and CSO Richard Klemke, Ph.D., professor of pathology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
“Cargocytes eliminate unwanted DNA transfer via cell fusion into host targeted cells and any possibilities of associated secondary cancer formation,” Klemke said. “The smaller size of the Cargocyte prevents unwanted innate immune responses and facilitates cell transit through organs like the lung, which would otherwise trap ACTs. Cargocytes can be administered directly to diseased tissues and can actively home in on inflammatory tissues and have a defined four-day therapeutic lifespan, which improves their pharmacokinetic profile.”
Targeting Pancreatic Cancer
Each year, more than 44,000 people in the US die from Pancreatic Cancer and 55,000 new cases are diagnosed. Most survive just five to six months after diagnosis because less than 10 percent are diagnosed early enough where a surgical removal can be curative.
“While our platform technology is highly versatile and could be used to treat many diseases, our group decided to first target pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC),” Moomiaie-Qajar said. “There is a substantial need for new therapeutics in this area and we believe we can fight the highly inflammatory nature of the disease.”
Despite some amazing scientific advancements in medicine, no one has been able to move the needle on the survival rates for Pancreatic Cancer in the past 40 years.
“GM1215 is a Cargocyte loaded with a potent trifecta of cytokine immune stimulators that we believe have holistic immune response capabilities key to changing the fortunes of people suffering from PDAC,” Moomiaie-Qajar said.
As a platform technology, Cargocyte has many therapeutic applications and will be commercialized through a blend of internal and partnered programs.
“We are really excited when we meet with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that have some amazing therapeutics in their pipelines but have difficulty or limitations in delivering them and need a proven cellular delivery vehicle,” Moomiaie-Qajar said. “Helping them get their products to cells in enough supply to have a tangible therapeutic effect is a win for all involved -- especially the patients. And that is the nature of our platform and the core of our company.”
Cytonus Therapeutics, Inc.
Cytonus Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing a next-generation Adoptive Cellular Transport platform called Cargocytes™. The San Diego-based company’s proprietary Cargocyte™ platform are cellular-engineered transporters of a multiplicity of therapeutic payloads to tissue in a selective, controllable and potent off-the-shelf cellular therapy for the potential treatment of several disease across multiple therapeutic areas. Cytonus’ initial focus is to advance Cargocyte™ candidates for the treatment of rare and difficult to treat cancers and inflammatory diseases. For more information, visit www.cytonus.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
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