Development of promising engineered T cell therapy part of $11 million investment in 16 collaborative research projects in novel therapies to cure cancer
OTTAWA, ON – BioCanRx and its partners are funding 16 collaborative research projects focused on developing novel therapies to cure cancer. The aim of these projects is developing clinical Chimeric Antigen Receptor modified T cell (CAR-T) manufacturing capabilities in Canada.
According to the organization, CAR-Ts are a powerful new tool for treating cancer and have begun to provide hope to patients without other therapeutic options to treat and cure their disease. Such therapies are also considered on the cutting edge of cancer therapeutics and have shown promise in paediatric and adult patients with certain blood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma.
While promising, the development of such therapies also require sophisticated manufacturing and expertise. Canada currently does have the basic laboratory infrastructure in place, but this new funding will be used to fully develop the expertise and capacity required to deliver this technology.
Additionally, the research projects will advance several innovative engineered T cell designs, benefiting from this infrastructure and capacity investment, and accelerate delivery of these novel concepts into clinical testing in Canada.
Dr. John Bell, Scientific Director, BioCanRx adds that this CAR-T manufacturing initiative is unique in that it represent the Canadian academic community recognizing a gap and stepping up to drive Canadian solutions to meet grassroots efforts taking place in the U.S., China and Europe. He discusses CAR-T cell manufacturing in Canada in the video below:
To help ensure CAR-T cell therapy is brought to patients safely and effectively, BioCanRx is also funding a companion Clinical, Social, and Economic Impact project. It will review the existing base of knowledge and involve patient consultation to design a rigorous CAR-T clinical trial protocol ready to implement once the products are ready for a Phase 1 clinical trial.
Dr. Manoj Lalu, associate scientist, assistant professor, Clinical Epidemiology and Regenerative Medicine Programs, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, The Ottawa Hospital and Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Ottawa discusses CAR-T therapy clinical trial design in the following video:
A full list of the 16 projects can be found at https://biocanrx.com/project-dashboards.