NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Incysus, Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company focused on delivering an innovative gamma-delta (γδ) T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of cancers, announced that Lawrence Lamb, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Cell Therapy Laboratory and the Company’s scientific co-founder, presented new preclinical data on Incysus’ drug-resistant immunotherapy (DRI) approach during a plenary session today at the Immunobiology of Primary and Metastatic Central Nervous System (CNS) Cancer conference, a special meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), being held in San Diego, California.
Dr. Lamb, presented new data on the Company’s adoptive cell therapy program for glioblastoma (GBM) using simultaneous temozolomide (TMZ) and intracranial MGMT-modified γδ T cells following standard post-resection chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Dr. Lamb and his colleagues at UAB have previously demonstrated that high-grade gliomas express stress ligands (NKG2D-L) that are additionally upregulated during concomitant TMZ therapy due to activation of a DNA damage response. Building on that, Dr. Lamb presented data today supporting the DRI therapeutic approach including new histopathology data and the ability to cryopreserve and thaw γδ T cells. The frozen and thawed product was able to maintain γδ T cell viability and cytotoxicity. In an orthotopic patient-derived xenograft model of TMZ-resistant GBM, the cryopreserved and thawed DRI product continued to demonstrate increased median survival (+37.9%, p=0.04) when compared to animals treated with TMZ alone.
“This encouraging data further supports our approach to treating solid tumor cancers,” said William Ho, Chief Executive Officer of Incysus. “The combination of certain chemotherapies and drug-resistant modified γδ T cell therapy, can create synergies to produce a significant survival advantage. These studies also show that the DRI cell product can be manufactured to GMP standards, allowing us to enter the clinical setting pending FDA acceptance.”
The company has filed two Investigational New Drug applications (IND). The first is targeted to leukemia and lymphoma patients undergoing haploidentical stem cell transplantation and was approved by the FDA in October 2017. The second IND, which was submitted earlier this year, will test the safety and activity of our DRI approach for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM in a Phase I trial. Despite the success of cellular therapies in blood cancers, there remains a significant unmet need in treating solid tumors such as GBM, where few advances have been made since the introduction of TMZ in 2005. In collaboration with the UAB, Incysus has advanced this technology, which addresses several mechanisms of immunosuppression and evasion that have prevented the successful treatment of solid tumor cancers.
About Incysus, Ltd.
Incysus is focused on delivering a novel off-the-shelf cell therapy for the treatment of cancer. By using genetically modified gamma-delta (γδ) T cells, our technology addresses the challenges that immunotherapies face targeting cold, low mutation cancers. Incysus’ immuno-oncology programs include activated and gene-modified adoptive cellular therapies that protect cells from chemotherapy and allow novel combinations to disrupt the tumor microenvironment and more selectively target cancer cells. For more information, visit www.incysus.com.