Nordic Nanovector ASA has entered into a research collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to generate a CD37-targeting CAR-T cell approach as a potential treatment for patients with B-cell malignancies.
The collaboration aims to combine Nordic Nanovector’s expertise around CD37, a protein present on the surface of B-cell tumour cells, with the world-class expertise in CAR-T cell therapies at Penn.
Specifically, researchers at Penn will look to combine CD37-targeting molecules (antibodies and antibody fragments) and linkers provided by Nordic Nanovector, with the proprietary CAR-T technologies developed at Penn, including its proprietary universal immune receptor developed in the laboratory of Daniel J. Powell Jr., PhD, of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, that can direct CAR-T cells against multiple tumor associated antigens.
Nordic Nanovector has obtained an option to license exclusive worldwide rights to any CD37-targeting CAR-T cells that result from this collaboration for further development.
Jostein Dahle, Nordic Nanovector’s Chief Scientific Officer, said: “It is really exciting to be collaborating with the institute that pioneered CAR-T cell therapy and to leverage our CD37 biology expertise towards the generation of new agents with a different mechanism of action to Betalutin® and other molecules in our pipeline.
“We believe that CD37 is an important, yet under-exploited target for new treatments for B-cell malignancies including non-Hodgkin lymphomas. CAR-T therapies in development for this group of diseases have already demonstrated they can be highly effective, and we look forward to the outcome of this collaboration, which has the potential to expand our CD37 franchise in a new direction.”
“We are very pleased to be entering into a collaboration with Nordic Nanovector, a company that has extensive knowledge of CD37 biology and its utility as a therapeutic target,” said Stephen J. Schuster, MD, the Robert and Margarita Louis-Dreyfus Professor in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinical Care and Research at Penn.
“Nordic Nanovector has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of targeting CD37 in clinical trials using radioimmunotherapy, and we hope to build on this experience with our CAR-T platform to develop therapies for B-cell malignancies.”