Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, affecting the brain and spinal cord. Despite patients generally receiving maximum treatment, it is almost always lethal, with cancer often recurring.
With a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awarded by the National Cancer Institute, the collaboration aims to leverage Genezen’s extensive lentivirus expertise to demonstrate the manufacturing feasibility of this new therapeutic. Predominantly used in developing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies targeting various cancers, lentiviral vectors (LVs) have a strong history of revolutionizing gene therapy modalities. The advancement of this unique glioblastoma therapeutic, which modifies natural killer (NK) cells to recognize and mount a response against glioblastomas, highlights LV’s potential to broaden therapeutic horizons.
As an NK-based therapy, this unique use of LVs stands at the frontier of cellular therapy, signifying the anticipated rise of allogeneic therapies. Rather than needing to harvest T cells from each individual patient, as with CAR-T therapies, NK cells can be accepted from multiple donors, dramatically expanding large dose manufacturing capabilities. This translates into helping more patients in shorter timeframes.
Building on the critical preclinical proof of concept work conducted by Sandro Matosevic, the assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, the Indiana-based partnership aims to progress the discovery to the clinic. Monon Bioventures will work on the treatment with Matosevic’s laboratory at Purdue University and Genezen, situated at Fishers Life Science & Innovation Park. With all partnership members within 100 miles of one another, we can expect this project to see the full advantages of rapid information transfer and tight collaboration.