Cell Medica is committed to transforming the lives of patients with cancer by developing the therapeutic potential of off-the-shelf engineered T cell therapies.
Our current focus endeavours to harness the natural properties of a specific subset of cytotoxic T cells, called Natural Killer T cells (NKT cells) and engineer them with additional features to enhance their anti-tumor efficacy.
We specifically focus on Type 1 NKT cells, also called invariant NKTs or iNKTs. These NKT cells demonstrate several important biological differences when compared to conventional T cells, which we believe render them particularly well suited for the development of off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) products for the treatment of solid and liquid tumors. In addition, to this differentiated natural cell biology, we have engineered innovative CAR constructs to further optimize the function, potency and therapeutic efficacy of the CAR-NKT cells.
Our innovative CAR-NKT candidates are being developed in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and University of North Carolina. The first CAR-NKT product (CMD-501) is currently being investigated in a Phase I clinical trial in pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma. CMD-501 is an autologous CAR-NKT cell product that targets GD2, a tumor-associated antigen frequently expressed in neuroblastoma. Our second CAR-NKT cell candidate (CMD-502) is an allogeneic product targeting CD19+ B-cell malignancies. This product is in the late stage pre-clinical development and is currently undergoing IND-enabling studies.
The company’s ambition is to develop a growing portfolio of allogeneic CAR-NKT products to treat patients across highly prevalent tumors where significant unmet needs remain.