January 15, 2020
Tmunity Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 1 Clinical Trial with CART-TnMUC1
PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc., a private clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on saving and improving lives by delivering the full potential of next-generation T-cell immunotherapy, today announced that it has dosed the first patient in its Phase 1 CART-TnMUC1-01 clinical trial with the Tn/STn glycoform of mucin 1 (TnMUC1) chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy in patients with TnMUC1-positive advanced cancers. This is a first-in-human trial with a CAR-T therapy targeting this antigen.
The CART-TnMUC1 therapy was developed by a University of Pennsylvania (Penn) team led by Avery D. Posey, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and a member of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. The MUC1 glycoprotein is a transmembrane epithelial mucin normally expressed on the apical surface of most simple glandular epithelial cells. In tumors that arise from these cells, an alternate form of MUC1 is frequently overexpressed on the cancer cell surface. The alternate form, known as TnMUC1, is depolarized and aberrantly glycosylated. Tmunity’s cell therapy specifically targets the Tn (GalNAca1-O-Ser/Thr) and sialyl-Tn (STn) (NeuAca2-6-GalNAcal-O-Ser/Thr) glycoforms of MUC1 with a fusion protein recognizing a short peptide sequence with one or two Tn O-glycans on the Ser/Thr residues. Tmunity’s CAR-T therapy also contains within its construct a novel co-stimulator region known as CD2.
"The initiation of the first trial to dose a patient with a CART-TnMUC1 represents an important milestone not only for Tmunity, but for the oncology community,” said Usman “Oz” Azam, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tmunity. “This clinical trial marks the third program from our portfolio to enter the clinical testing phase since our company was founded in 2015. We look forward to progressing our portfolio of innovative cell therapies for high unmet need in solid tumors and advancing the potential for CAR-T therapeutics.”
“The major challenge in the field of CAR-T cells is targeting solid tumors, and we have great hope that we have potentially identified a new therapeutic approach,” Posey said. “Our approach, testing these ‘sweet CARs,’ is to target a sugar that is uniquely expressed in tumor cells, with the aim to develop a more effective cancer therapy.”
About Tmunity Therapeutics
Tmunity is a private clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on saving and improving lives by delivering the full potential of next-generation T-cell immunotherapy to patients with devastating diseases. Integrating a foundational collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) with the groundbreaking scientific, clinical, and manufacturing expertise, and the demonstrated track record of its founders (Carl June, MD; Bruce Blazar, MD; Bruce Levine, PhD; Yangbing Zhao, MD, PhD; Jim Riley, PhD; and Anne Chew, PhD), Tmunity represents a new center of gravity in translational T-cell medicine. Through the University of Pennsylvania, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and other collaborations, the company is developing a diversified portfolio of novel treatments that exhibit best-in-class control over T-cell activation and direction in the body, with a focus in cancer and three programs currently in clinic development. With headquarters in Philadelphia, Tmunity utilizes laboratories and production facilities at Penn and its own dedicated cGMP manufacturing facility in East Norriton, PA, to pursue process improvement and production scale-up in support of clinical development of its T-cell therapies. For more information, visit www.tmunity.com and connect with us on social media at @TmunityTx and LinkedIn.
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