Special report: Patients suffering from a common and sometimes, life-threatening condition stemming from cancer immunotherapy – one of the hottest bitoech investment areas at the moment – could have some light at the end of a tunnel.

Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company Cynata Therapeutics has announced data from a preclinical model showing that it’s Cymerus mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) significantly relieved the effects of cytokine release syndrome (CRS).

CRS is caused by a large, quick release of cytokines into the blood from immune cells during immunotherapy.

Cytokines are immune substances that have many different actions in the body.

Symptoms of CRS include fever, nausea, headache, rash, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, and trouble breathing.

Most patients have a mild reaction, but sometimes it can be severe or life threatening.

CRS is just one of countless conditions that pop up as side effects of life saving treatments. Cynata(ASX:CYP) is also conducting research into Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a medical complication following the receipt of transplanted tissue from a genetically different person.

With an ageing population in Australia, the likely occurrence and cost to the economy looks only set to grow, which is why Cynata’s latest results are welcome.

Cynata Vice President of Product Development Dr Kilian Kelly noted the excitement around cancer immunotherapy as a potentially curative treatment option to patients.

“CRS is a common, unpredictable and potentially fatal complication that may limit treatment uptake.”

The study was led by Associate Professor Lisa Minter Ph.D at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dr Kelly said the results suggest administering a single dose of Cymerus MSCs “before, during or after” cancer immunotherapy treatment could provide significant relief and benefit toe the patient.

“We look forward to continuing to explore the benefits of our MSCs in humans through partnerships with companies commercialising cancer immunotherapies, such as CAR-T.”

Also called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, CAR-T has been shown to be highly effective in treating types of blood cancers.  It is notable that US company Gilead recently paid nearly US$12b to acquire CAR-T developer Kite Pharma, and chasing similar CAR-T technology Celgene has acquired Juno in a US$9b deal.



This special report is brought to you by Cynata Therapeutics.

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