Fate Therapeutics (FATE) is still seeing a good deal of momentum.
Over the last few days, FATE announced the presentation of a new off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-targeted cell-based cancer immunotherapy program at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 23rd Annual Meeting.
The new preclinical program targets MHC class I related proteins A (MICA) and B (MICB), and is supported by an exclusive license from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to intellectual property covering novel antibody fragments binding MICA/B for iPSC-derived cellular therapeutics. MICA and MICB are stress proteins that are selectively expressed at high levels on many solid tumors, says the company.
“MICA and MICB are emerging as exciting pan-cancer immunotherapy targets, and we are pleased that our engineered iPSC-derived CAR-MICA/B NK cells have shown potent anti-tumor activity in preclinical studies,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of FATE. “Importantly, since the shedding of MICA/B is a common escape mechanism deployed by many tumors to evade immune cell recognition, we are encouraged that our novel CAR design, which uniquely targets the α3 domain of MICA/B, prevents protein shedding and promotes NK and T cell-mediated tumor immunity.”
FATE Also Landed a Major Partner
Just the other week, it secured a $3 billion deal with Janssen Biotech, Inc, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to develop four cancer treatments.
These treatments belong to a class known as immuno-oncology drugs, which help teach the immune system how to identify hidden cancer cells. Not only does this deal now validate Fate Therapeutics technology, notes Investor’s Business Daily, it removes cash flow concerns, and now adds another four potential cancer treatments for the company.
According to Fate Therapeutics’ President and CEO, “We are delighted to enter this strategic collaboration, which brings together Janssen’s scientific and global commercialization leadership, deep domain expertise in oncology and proprietary technologies for targeting and binding certain tumors and our industry-leading iPSC product platform to develop novel off-the-shelf CAR NK and T-cell cancer immunotherapies.”
Ian Cooper’s Personal Position in FATE: None