Prescient is continuing to be a powerful force in the burgeoning personalised cancer treatment therapy sector, unveiling its latest platform to advance CAR-T therapy globally.

Leading ASX oncology company developing personalised therapies to treat cancer, Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX), has unveiled its high-performance cell therapy manufacturing enhancement technology CellPryme-M.

Prescient says its CellPryme-M tech is easily incorporated into existing CAR-T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell) manufacturing processes, building on a developing field of cancer treatment that takes the T-cells from a cancer patient and reprograms them as a personalised treatment that can detect and destroy cancer cells.

Simply put, the new CellPryme-M platform produces superior cells during the cell manufacturing process, which are basically fitter and less prone to exhaustion, enabling longer duration of cancer killing activity

Prescient says those cells are “capable of improved tumour trafficking and penetrance compared to the current generation of CAR-T cells”.

CellPryme-M was developed by Prescient in collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, a world leading cancer research institute, with the company retaining whole ownership of the intellectual property.

CellPryme-M to be used in OmniCAR programs

With a compelling body of pre-clinical data, CellPryme-M is now ready for clinical testing and Prescient plans to use the new tech to enhance the cells used in its breakthrough OmniCAR programs.

OmniCAR seeks to overcome the safety and efficacy shortcomings of current CAR-T approaches, against a variety of different cancers.

Additionally, Prescient will seek to license CellPryme-M to other cell therapy companies to enhance conventional CAR-T programs and enter value-adding collaborations.

Cell phenotype determines clinical anti-cancer responses  

 Although T cells are often referred to collectively, they are an extremely diverse group of cells with different sub-types, each with different characteristics and roles in the body.

CAR-T clinical trials have clearly established that patient outcomes are much better when the CAR-T cells have less differentiated phenotypes (namely more central memory T cells).

Current CAR-T  therapies are often rich in effector T cells, which are important for cytotoxicity, but prone to rapid exhaustion and cell death. That’s why it’s highly desirable for CAR-T therapies to include more helper T cells, which work together with effector T cells.

Having more “youthful” central memory T-cells is also beneficial, as they have greater proliferative capacity and the ability to persist, extending tumour killing ability.

CellPryme-M produces superior CAR-T cell phenotypes  

The cells produced from the CellPryme-M process have been found to have many favourable characteristics required from more effective cell therapies, including:

  • 50% more central memory T cells, a highly clinically relevant sub-type
  • Double proportion of CD4+ helper T cells, for synergy with effector T cells
  • Significantly more chemokine receptors, important for tumour trafficking and tumour penetrance,especially important in solid tumours
  • Greater genomic stability and DNA repair for enhanced self-renewal.

Importantly, the superior cell phenotype of CellPryme-M cells doesn’t come at the expense of effectiveness, with T cells retaining their potency with no increased safety risks due to higher cytokine release.

CellPryme-M CAR-T cells nearly doubled tumour control compared to conventional CAR-T, and significantly improved survival (double that of control) in a mouse model of highly aggressive breast cancer that is largely resistant to conventional CAR-T.

Virus fighting abilities

An additional and unexpected finding during the development of CellPryme-M was the rapid activation of genes pertaining to potent antiviral pathways.

With cell therapies now being explored for treating infectious diseases, the ability to produce T cells with enhanced antiviral activity may provide a distinct advantage in creating effective therapies against viruses.

Enormous potential to advance CAR-T therapy

Prescient’s Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Dr Rebecca Lim, says it has been exciting to see the power of the CellPryme-M technology unfold over the past 18 months.

“This GMP grade product can be easily incorporated into any CAR-T manufacturing program to significantly boost the cancer killing ability of T cells by skewing their phenotype to a less differentiated state,” Lim says.

“CellPryme-M alters key signalling pathways within as little as 15 minutes, which means that users can incorporate CellPryme-M into their manufacturing process with virtually no interruption, even if their manufacturing timeframes are only 24-48 hours.”

She said she could see enormous potential for CellPryme-M to benefit those third-party CAR-T programs that have struggled with getting good persistence and tumour penetrance with their CAR T cells.

“What is also exciting is that these effects are likely to extend CellPryme-M to other cell therapy modalities such as CAR-NK, TCR T cells etc since persistence and tumour penetrance continues to be the key tumour clearance,” she says.

Valuable addition to Prescient product pipeline

Prescient managing director and CEO Steven Yatomi-Clarke says CellPryme is Prescient’s second cell therapy platform and a valuable addition to the company’s pipeline.

“By producing superior cell types, CellPryme-M truly complements the OmniCAR platform, which enables control, multi-valency and many other characteristics and is agnostic to cell type,” he says.

Yatomi-Clarke said CellPryme-M provides an entirely new business opportunity to license CellPryme-M to other cell therapy companies.

“It requires minimal intervention into existing and emerging manufacturing process and therefore represents a relatively low implementation hurdle,” he says.

“This opens up real commercial opportunities for Prescient to incorporate CellPryme-M into third party manufacturing processes.

“However, in a real show of confidence, Prescient will be its own first customer by using it to enhance its internal OmniCAR programs, to combine next-gen CAR-T capabilities with superior cell phenotypes.”

Prescient is having a good year so far. The company has also expanded patient recruitment for its lead drug candidates, PTX-100, in the treatment of patients with T-cell lymphomas, following excellent safety data and promising preliminary evidence.  The Company recently announced a 4th patient with complete remission in the AML trial of their other targeted therapy, PTX-200.

Join a briefing

Join Prescient Therapeutics CEO Steven Yatomi-Clarke and Senior VP of Scientific Affairs Dr Rebecca Lim on Friday 10th June at 12.30pm (AEST) where they will discuss Prescient’s new cell therapy enhancement platform CellPryme-M, the supporting data and steps towards commercialisation. Click here to register.

This article was developed in collaboration with Prescient Therapeutics, 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.