ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, January 11, 2021 – The partnership between the young company Pan Cancer T B.V. and Erasmus MC is awarded a Health~Holland grant of 0.9 M€.
In this project, entitled T-cells act against hard-to-treat cancers (T-ACT), the 2 partners develop safe and effective adoptive T-cell therapeutics against cancers of the breast, bladder and brain that are non-responsive to standard treatments.
In more detail
Adoptive cellular therapy is a successful treatment for blood cancers, in which patient’s leukocytes (in this case T-cells) are gene-engineered to express a protein that recognizes cancerous cells, after which this cellular product is given back to the patient. In this project, we extend this type of therapy to cancers of the breast, bladder and brain. To this end, entrepreneurs at Pan cancer T (PCT) BV partner up with scientists at Erasmus MC, and collaborate with clinical advisors and patient advocates.
The objective of this partnership is to create a new therapy that can be quickly implemented and applied to a large group of ill people for whom current treatment is non-effective and/or yields side effects that hamper healthy lives. To enable the development of such a therapy, 2 new elements are introduced: (a) unique targets for T-cells that are exclusively expressed by multiple solid cancers but not healthy tissues (so-called PCT targets); and (b) innovative technologies to select proteins (so-called T-cell receptors, TCRs) that recognize PCT targets, as well as treatments to overcome tumor micro-environmental challenges in the targeted cancers.
The future development of these new adoptive T-cell therapies aligns with the route of an already scheduled clinical academic T-cell therapy trial to treat melanoma and head-and-neck cancer in 2021.