Cytovia Therapeutics has entered a research and licensing agreement with Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, to develop NK engager bi-specific antibodies and iPSC CAR NK cell therapy targeting CD38, a key marker of multiple myeloma.
Cytovia is licensing Inserm’s CD38 antibody and Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) patent and applying its proprietary NK engager bispecific antibody and iPSC CAR NK technology platforms. The research agreement will include evaluation of the therapeutic candidates at Hôpital Saint-Louis’ Research Institute (Inserm Unit 976) under the leadership of Professors Armand Bensussan and Jean-Christophe Bories.
Dr Daniel Teper, Cytovia’s Chairman and CEO commented: “We are delighted to partner with one of the top centers of excellence in the world for research and treatment in hematology. CD38 is a validated target and Natural Killer cells have significant cytotoxicity to Myeloma cells. We are looking forward to bringing promising new options to address the unmet needs of patients with Multiple Myeloma and aim for a cure.”
Professor Armand Bensussan, Director of The Immuno-Oncology Research Institute at Hôpital Saint-Louis added: “We have demonstrated the selectivity of our novel CD38 antibody in killing myeloma cells but not normal cells such as NK, T, and B cells. The activation of NK cells through NKp46 may enhance the efficacy of the bispecific antibody in patients not responsive to CD38 monoclonal antibody therapy. CD38 CAR NK is a promising approach for relapsed/refractory patients and an alternative to CAR T therapies.”
Cytovia is developing two complementary and synergistic NK platforms: iPSC CAR NK and NK engager multi-specific antibodies. NK cells are the first line of immune defense against cancers and infectious diseases. They allow for therapies that offer major safety and usability advantages over T-Cell Therapies. While highly cytotoxic to the cancer cells, they do not cause Cytokine Release Syndrome or neurotoxicity – main risks of CAR-T and T-cell engagers. NK Cells are naturally allogeneic and available off-the-shelf and on- demand with fast delivery time, a key to better patient outcomes.
CYT-104 is Cytovia’s CD38 targeted CAR-NK Cell therapy currently in developement. CYT-106 is a NKp46E-CD38 NK Engager bi-specific antibody currently in developement. Both are expected to enter clinical trials in 2021-2022.