Cellectis is a leader in immuno-oncology CAR-T therapies from France, which might revolutionise cancer treatments. Now, the next step in the CAR-T campaign is to step away from personalised (autologous) therapies, which are time-consuming and expensive, to instead produce an allogenic version available to all.
So, what is CAR-T? You can read a more in-depth explanation in our ‘Oncology therapies in Biotech’ review here, but in brief – Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) therapies can be engineered to be expressed on specialised T-cells, which can then bind to and attack tumor cells with great specificity.
Cellectis had been investigating how to produce Universal CAR-T (UCARTs) antibodies en masse under ‘Good Manufacturing Practice‘ conditions in Industry. Now, their allogenic UCART candidates for blood cancers have been demonstrated to a pre-clinical level, the next step being human trials.
Their focal candidate in question is UCART19, a particular T-cell receptor which has been engineered using their proprietary TALEN gene-editing platform to target Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).