The new appointments will support Prescient’s ongoing and novel development of its Omnicar CAR-T therapy.

Clinical stage oncology company Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) has bolstered its advisory board after announcing the appointments of physician-scientist Dr Marco Davila, and bioengineering expert Professor Andrew Tsourkas.

These appointments are expected to bring expertise in the development of Prescient’s CAR-T therapies, as well as in the protein engineering of binders.

Dr Davila is a medical oncologist in the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at the Moffitt Cancer Center, one of the largest comprehensive cancer centres in the US.

His experience there includes treating patients with hematologic malignancies by using cell therapies.

Dr Davila has also conducted research involving the pre-clinical development and clinical translation of gene-engineered cell therapies. This includes CAR-T therapies for patients with hematologic and solid tumour malignancies.

His research has been widely acknowledged, and has been awarded with grants from various institutions, including the American Society of Hematology, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Through this work, Dr Davila is a well-known and well-regarded leading figure in the CAR-T field, often addressing global conferences on the subject.

“From my clinical experience with CAR-T therapies, as well as their pre-clinical development, I have seen both the early success of this revolutionary therapy in B cell malignancies, and also the challenges in translating it to other cancers,” Dr Davila said.

“I’m excited by the capabilities of OmniCAR to overcome many of these obstacles and bring gene-engineered cell therapies to many more patients”

Meanwhile, Professor Tsourkas is a Professor of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

He’s also a co-director for the Center for Targeted Therapeutic and Translational Nanomedicine at Penn.

Professor Tsourkas is a co-inventor of the patents developed at Penn, which are currently licensed by Prescient to form OmniCAR.

His particular expertise in the conjugation of proteins is especially relevant to the development of OmniCAR’s binders.

“The rapid, covalent nature of OmniCAR’s binding confers many unique capabilities and advantages over conventional CAR-T approaches,” commented Tsourkas.

“I look forward to assisting Prescient in the development of OmniCAR and its associated binders to address a variety of different cancers.”

Prescient’s OmniCAR platform

In previous studies, Prescient’s OmniCAR platform has demonstrated that it could overcome the limitations of CAR-T treatments for cancer.

The potential is currently attracting the attention of global therapy decision makers.

OmniCAR was developed to overcome challenges and limitations of CAR-T treatments – a new type of intervention used in immunotherapy and cancer treatment.

The company’s most recent work, conducted in collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, showed that OmniCAR-T cells begin antigen-directed killing of tumour cells in vitro as soon as they are armed.

Whilst  some  CAR-T  studies  have  demonstrated  clinical  efficacy  in  stubborn  cancers  with  up  to  seven  separate  infusions  of  CAR-T  cells,  the costs and  patient  requirements of this approach are at this moment prohibitive.

In contrast, achieving ongoing control of T cell activity through complete control of binder administration is  viable,  logistically  undemanding, and  inexpensive, according to Prescient.

“OmniCAR is proving to be a predictable and powerful system to work with, and we look forward to sharing updates as our programs progress,” Prescient  CEO  Steven  Yatomi-Clarke commented earlier.


This article was developed in collaboration with Prescient, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.