Pharma Focus Europe

Cimeio Therapeutics and the University of Pennsylvania Announce Collaboration for Preclinical Studies on CD45 Universal CAR T Cell Therapy in Blood and Bone Marrow Cancers

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Cimeio Therapeutics has recently announced a new preclinical research partnership with Dr. Saar Gill, an associate professor of medicine with both M.D. and Ph.D. qualifications, working at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Together, they are collaborating to explore and evaluate an innovative universal immunotherapy with the potential to treat various forms of blood and bone marrow cancers.

The research team at the University of Pennsylvania will combine Cimeio Therapeutics' exclusive epitope-editing and CD45-targeting technologies with the epitope-editing and CAR T cell technology developed by Penn Medicine. This collaborative effort aims to develop a CD45-targeting CAR T cell therapy, alongside epitope-edited hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). CD45, a receptor found on most blood cells, is a key focus, and this therapy holds the promise of becoming a universal CAR T cell treatment for blood cancers.

Recent discoveries have highlighted the potential for epitope editing of CD45, a receptor found on healthy HSCs as well as many blood and bone marrow cancers. Both a publication from Penn Medicine and a joint presentation by Cimeio Therapeutics and the University of Basel have suggested that developing a technology to protect healthy HSCs while making malignant cells susceptible to a CD45-targeting therapy could open up new possibilities for drug development.

Dr. Saar Gill expressed his enthusiasm about this collaboration, stating, "I am pleased to be working with Cimeio Therapeutics to evaluate a novel immunotherapeutic technology that may have the potential to transform the treatment of multiple blood and bone marrow cancers. The preclinical research we have each independently advanced fits very well together, and I look forward to joining forces on this endeavor."

Dr. Lukas T. Jeker, a co-founder of Cimeio and a professor of experimental transplantation immunology & nephrology at the University of Basel and the Basel University Hospital in Switzerland, shared his excitement: "By exchanging a single amino acid on a cell surface receptor, we discovered we could prevent potent immunotherapies from binding to and depleting healthy cells in vitro and in mouse models. It's exciting to be working with the Penn scientific team to evaluate this novel approach to immunotherapy."

The CD45-directed CAR T cell therapy, made possible through epitope editing, has the potential to benefit patients with various types of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and even certain autoimmune diseases, as noted by Dr. Carl June, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. The goal now is to further explore the transformative potential of this new therapeutic approach.

Thomas Fuchs, CEO of Cimeio Therapeutics, expressed optimism about the collaboration with the Penn research team and their shared vision, stating, "We hope we can build on these exciting early research findings by developing a CAR T cell that can target multiple hematologic cancers with a single product through our CD45 collaboration."

Additionally, Cimeio is working on the development of a CD45-directed antibody-drug conjugate, with plans to utilize CD45 epitope shielded cells for the treatment of blood cancers and autoimmune diseases, among other potential indications.



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