The CHIME transforming technology platform has the potential to harness childhood immune memory to fight a wide variety of cancer types.
Area of focus: Immuno-oncology, Cancer Biotherapeutics
Commencement Date: May, 2017
Location: JLABS @ San Diego
Cancer therapy requires different modalities of treatment to attack tumors and metastases. Most traditional chemotherapy agents and targeted anti-tumor therapies, which exert their effects by direct cytotoxicity or tumor growth inhibition, are generally insufficient to provide complete and sustained cancer remission. Over the past few years, immunotherapies have shown unprecedented benefits in cancer patients, with a significant increase in response rates and long-term survival in some patient subsets. Immuno-oncology represents a new therapeutic segment and a paradigm shift in the treatment of cancers: the immunotherapies are designed to boost the body's natural defenses against tumors. However, many of the marketed immune checkpoint inhibitors designed to address the tumor-mediated immune suppression are associated with serious immune-related adverse events. Other investigational immunotherapies present significant hurdles, such as identifying effective cancer (neo)antigens and breaking tolerance for cancer vaccines, or the time and cost-consuming ex vivo genetic manipulation and culture followed by transplantation for CAR-T cells.
CHIME's biologic products are designed to introduce specific epitopes from childhood vaccines into tumors after administration with a delivery system (e.g., viral vector) to rapidly stimulate and expand existing effector memory T cells that patrol the body to destroy such 'infected' cells. The recall and redirection of pre-existing memory T-cells against tumor cells should present a number of advantages compared to other immunotherapies: it does not require the discovery of cancer antigens and it does not need to break tolerance since it is based upon a non-self approach; it also does not require ex vivo manipulation of cells and it can be administered directly to patients as a biologic. CHIME's product should be applicable to all types of tumors.
CHIME's unique approach does not require to modify or educate naive T cells but rather promotes the recruitment and activation of pre-existing vaccine-derived memory T cells to the cancerous tissue. The unique advantages of CHIME's approach based on memory responses is expected to induce a strong and rapid direct tumor killing, decrease the tumor-mediated immune suppression, and drive the development of a systemic tumor-specific immunity through the release of tumor-associated antigens that are taken up by antigen presenting cells and presented to T cells to generate tumor-specific effector cells and tumor-specific immune memory.
The treatment of cancer still represents a major unmet medical need and innovative solutions are clearly needed for cancer patients to reduce tumor progression and increase long-term survival without compromising quality of life.
Meet the Team: