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News & Trends - Biotechnology

Aussie biotech secures first local CAR T patent

Health Industry Hub | June 13, 2024 |

Biotech News: A Melbourne-based biotechnology company which specialises in developing immune cell therapies for cancer treatment, has been granted its first Australian patent. This milestone supports multiple candidates in Cartherics development pipeline, enhancing its intellectual property portfolio.

The patent covers key aspects of Cartherics’ chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology, specifically targeting the tumour-associated antigen TAG-72. This antigen is highly expressed in various adenocarcinomas, including ovarian and gastric cancers. The patent issuance marks a significant step forward in creating innovative treatments for these cancers.

Cartherics’ CEO, Professor Alan Trounson AO, stated, “The award of this patent strengthens our global position in cancer therapy and potentially other intractable disease conditions. This creates a very good position for the Company.”

This Australian patent is part of a larger patent family, with similar protections sought in major markets such as the US, Japan, and Europe. Additionally, Cartherics has filed a divisional application to cover other aspects of the invention.

The granted patent protects Cartherics’ TAG-72 CAR construct, which has shown compelling efficacy against human ovarian cell lines both in vitro and in vivo. The company’s lead product, CTH-401, incorporates the TAG-72 CAR and is initially indicated for relapsed or refractory ovarian cancer, where over 90% of tumours are TAG-72 positive.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among women diagnosed with gynecological cancers and the fifth leading cause of death among women overall. Novel cellular immunotherapies targeting these tumours could address the urgent need for new treatment options.

In April, Cartherics entered a collaborative research agreement with TiCARos to evaluate its proprietary CLIP-CAR technology in Cartherics’ induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived natural killer (NK) cells. An effective CLIP-CAR targeting tissue factor could form the basis of a CAR-NK product for triple-negative breast cancer and other hard-to-treat cancers.

In 2022, Cartherics and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre signed a Collaborative Development Program Agreement (CDPA) to develop Cartherics’ proprietary autologous CAR T-cell therapy (CTH-001) for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

The company also maintains affiliations with the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University, ToolGen (Korea), RheinCell (Germany), Monash and Epworth Medical Centres, and other global institutes and companies.

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