CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & BASEL, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cimeio Therapeutics today announced a preclinical research collaboration with Saar Gill, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine and a researcher in the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, to research and evaluate a novel universal immunotherapy with potential to treat multiple blood and bone marrow cancers.
The Penn team will combine Cimeio Therapeutics’ proprietary epitope-editing and CD45-targeting technologies with Penn Medicine’s epitope-editing and CAR T cell technology to create a CD45-targeting CAR T cell therapy and paired epitope-edited hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). Given that CD45 is highly expressed on nearly all blood cells, this therapy could be a universal CAR T cell therapy for blood cancers.
Recent findings have demonstrated the ability to epitope edit CD45, which is a receptor broadly expressed on the surface of healthy HSCs as well as many blood and bone marrow cancers. A publication from Penn Medicine as well as a presentation by Cimeio Therapeutics and the University of Basel suggested that developing a technology to shield healthy HSCs while leaving malignant cells vulnerable to a CD45-targeting therapy could unlock this target for drug development.
“I am pleased to be working with Cimeio Therapeutics to evaluate a novel immunotherapeutic technology that may have the potential to transform the treatment of multiple blood and bone marrow cancers,” said Dr. Gill. “The preclinical research we have each independently advanced fits very well together, and I look forward to joining forces on this endeavor.”
“By exchanging a single amino acid on a cell surface receptor, we discovered we could prevent potent immunotherapies from binding to and depleting healthy cells in vitro and in mouse models. It’s exciting to be working with the Penn scientific team to evaluate this novel approach to immunotherapy,” said Lukas T. Jeker, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder of Cimeio and professor of experimental transplantation immunology & nephrology at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel and at the Basel University Hospital, Switzerland. A foundational patent for epitope editing from the University of Basel is exclusively licensed to Cimeio.
“A CD45-directed CAR T cell therapy enabled via epitope editing has the potential to benefit patients with many types of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and even some autoimmune diseases,” said Carl June, M.D., the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-senior author of the recent CD45 study with Dr. Gill. “Now the goal is to discover how transformative this potential new therapeutic approach could be.”
“The Penn research team is the ideal partner to work with given their shared vision and goals, epitope editing and translational cell therapy expertise,” said Thomas Fuchs, Chief Executive Officer of Cimeio Therapeutics. “We hope we can build on these exciting early research findings by developing a CAR T cell that can target multiple hematologic cancers with a single product through our CD45 collaboration.”
Cimeio is also developing a CD45-directed antibody-drug conjugate. The company plans to develop that therapy with CD45 epitope shielded cells for blood cancers and autoimmune diseases among other indications.
About Cimeio Therapeutics
Cimeio is a therapeutics company developing Shielded-Cell & Immunotherapy Pairs™ (SCIP), novel immunotherapies which have the potential to transform treatment of hematologic diseases. Cimeio develops state-of-the-art immunotherapies, along with paired, modified variants of naturally occurring cell surface proteins in HSCs. These novel epitope edited variants maintain their function but are resistant to depletion when targeted by the paired immunotherapy which has high affinity for the wild-type version of these proteins. These immunotherapies have significant therapeutic potential, which Cimeio is using to develop curative treatments for patients with hematologic malignancies, autoimmune disorders, and genetic diseases. Shielded Cell and Immunotherapy Pairs and SCIP are trademarks of Cimeio Therapeutics, Inc. www.cimeio.com.