1:47 PM
 | 
May 16, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Company News

Fate, MSKCC expand off-the-shelf cell therapy deal

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Fate Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:FATE) expanded a 2016 deal on Wednesday, granting Fate exclusive rights to additional IP that covers CAR constructs and off-the-shelf CAR T cells.

The existing deal, led by MKSCC Center for Cell Engineering Director Michel Sadelain, focuses on developing off-the-shelf T cell immunotherapies derived from engineered pluripotent cell lines. Under that agreement, Fate gained an exclusive license to IP covering induced pluripotent cell-derived immune cells, including T cells and NK cells derived from pluripotent cells engineered with CARs (see BioCentury Extra, Sept. 7, 2016).

Sadelain was slated to present preclinical data Wednesday at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy meeting on FT819, an off-the-shelf CD19 CAR T cell product without T cell receptors manufactured from a clonal master induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. MSKCC did not respond to inquiries and Fate did not respond in time for publication.

Fate’s patent portfolio includes compositions and methods for genome editing of iPS cells, including using CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) to insert a CAR into the T cell receptor alpha constant (TRAC) locus for endogenous transcriptional control. A 2017 study in Nature led by Sadelain suggests inserting CAR DNA within the TRAC locus could produce more effective antitumor agents than the common strategy of scattering CARs throughout the genome (see BioCentury Innovations, March 23, 2017).

A survey by BioCentury of abstracts presented at last year’s American Society of Hematology meeting showed TRAC had the largest increase in mentions, with a sevenfold jump from the 2016 meeting to the 2017 meeting (see BioCentury Innovations, Dec. 7, 2017).

Fate was up $0.49 to $10.18 on Wednesday.

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