Adaptimmune, with a research base in Oxford (UK) and clinical base in Philadelphia (US), has overcome a milestone in their first cohort for clinical stage I/II T-cell therapy. They have developed a program for T-cell therapeutic candidates engineering various different T-cell receptors (TCR) for a range of cancers including lung, breast and hematologic types.
Their approach works by targeting TCRs of tumor cells that express the NY-ESO-1 antigen. For these, they engineer an artificial T-cell ‘platform,’ which increases the tumor antigen’s sensitivity to the TCR. In doing so, the aim is to restore the efficacy of first line cancer drugs such as ifosfamide alongside (and/or) doxorubicin, which in many patients have been shown to be ineffective. Synovial sarcoma, characterized by tumors forming in the soft connective tissues of joints, expresses the NY-ESO-1 antigen in around 60-70% of cases.