Research Highlights

Multiple Myeloma
  • CS1: Multiple myeloma cells for the most part do not express CD19, the predominant antigen targeted in hematologic CAR T cell therapies. CS1 is a cell surface protein that is expressed on normal plasma cells and on multiple myeloma cells in over 95 percent of patients. As such, it represents a promising target for CAR T cell therapy for this blood cancer. We are developing CAR T cells and plan to launch a clinical trial in 2018.
Glioblastoma
  • HER2: HER2 is a transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to the EGFR family and is overexpressed in glioblastoma, osteosarcoma, medulloblastoma, and ovarian and breast cancers, among others. We are developing CAR T cell therapy targeted to HER2 in glioblastoma, as well as in breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain. 
Prostate Cancer
  • PSCA: Advanced prostate cancer develops from various different cell alterations, and it is resistant to conventional cancer therapy. We are developing CAR T cells that target prostate stem cell antigen, with the overall goal of developing therapies that will eradicate heterogeneous malignant cell populations in advanced prostate cancer.
Other Hematologic Malignancies
  • CMV-CD19 Bispecific CARs: Certain hematologic malignancies are less amenable to CD19-CAR T cell therapy compared with acute lymphoblastic leukemia or chronic lymphocyte leukemia. To better stimulate a response to CD19-CAR T cell therapy, we are investigating the use of virus-specific T cells (cytomegalovirus [CMV] pp65-specific T cells) as the starting population for CD19-CAR manufacturing. We propose that administering CMV-modified vaccinia Ankara Triplex vaccine to patients after CAR T cell infusion will provide an immune system boost to the CAR T cells and increase efficacy.