Jun 18, 2020, 08:00 ET
Lyell Immunopharma and PACT Pharma Announce Research and Clinical Development Partnership
— Companies will leverage their highly complementary technologies to address target specificity for tumor cells and cell exhaustion, two significant barriers for solid tumor T cell therapy—
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO—June 18—Lyell Immunopharma (“Lyell”) and PACT Pharma (“PACT”) today announced a strategic partnership to jointly develop and test a next generation personalized anti-cancer T cell therapy against solid tumors.
The partnership combines technologies to develop a personalized T cell therapy using patients’ own T cells through non-viral precision genome engineering for tumor neoantigen specificity while overcoming potential tumor resistance and T cell exhaustion in treating patients with solid cancers.
“Current T cell therapies for patients with solid tumors face hurdles of target specificity and cell functionality that this partnership is committed to overcome,” said Alex Franzusoff, Ph.D., CEO of PACT. “Our goal is to engineer and develop transformational and curative product candidates for patients with solid tumors by addressing these hurdles together, for each patient. We believe this multi-faceted approach has the potential to deliver the greatest patient benefit.”
“By combining efforts in this way, PACT and Lyell are leveraging the best technologies on both sides of the T cell specificity-functionality equation,” said Rick Klausner, M.D., CEO of Lyell. “More than a technological partnership, this is an opportunity to leverage decades of expertise from some of the field’s best minds, which is very exciting to all of us.”
“To efficiently fight solid tumors, neoantigen-targeted T cells will encounter adverse tumor environments and must not be turned off by the cancer,” said Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder at PACT. “The world-leading scientists at Lyell have designed original strategies to enhance T cell persistence and tumor-killing activity. With PACT’s ability to specifically redirect T cells to mutations in cancer, I believe this partnership will significantly advance the pursuit of highly targeted and effective personalized T cell therapies.”
“PACT has sophisticated technologies enabling the first evaluations of personalized adoptive T cell therapy in clinical trials for common solid tumors targeting conserved mutations in the patient’s cancer,” said Stanley Riddell, M.D., Head of Research and Development at Lyell. “We are excited by the opportunity to work together to accelerate clinical evaluation of a next generation cellular therapy that is designed to sustain the function of T cells at tumor sites.”
The Program resulting from the partnership, which includes upfront and milestone payments to PACT, will be jointly owned and each party will share profits equally if successful. PACT and Lyell will each continue to pursue programs independently and through their other partnerships.
About PACT Pharma
PACT is an independent, privately funded clinical stage company, developing transformational personalized neoTCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors and is treating patients in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies at several key academic centers of the CIRM-funded Alpha Clinic network, in California. PACT’s distinguished co-founders, David Baltimore (Nobel Laureate), Antoni Ribas, Jim Heath, Terry Rosen and Juan Jaen launched the company in early 2017.
Each person’s cancer emerges with a private signature of mutations. PACT identifies these cancer mutation targets (neoantigens) for each person, biochemically verifies and captures T cells from their blood and uses its proprietary, cutting edge (non-viral) precision genome engineering technologies to manufacture a personalized immune cell therapy product for each person with cancer.
About Lyell Immunopharma
Lyell is addressing unsolved problems of creating reliable, curative adoptive cell therapy for solid tumors. Lyell brings together an unrivalled scientific team with a collection of novel technologies aimed at tackling three barriers to this unsolved challenge:
- Redefining the cell preparations for cell-based immunotherapy following the decades-long work of two of Lyell scientific leaders, Stan Riddell and Nick Restifo
- Modulating T cells to maintain their functionality within the solid tumor microenvironment
- Controlling the specificity and safety of solid tumor-directed T cells armed with TCRs, CARs or other targeting modalities using state-of-the-art protein engineering
We believe these approaches will improve the effectiveness of cell therapy for cancer.
For further information please visit www.lyell.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
Lyell Investor Relations