ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) announced recently the data that supports its new approach of using non-viral components to produce the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) modified T cells for treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer conditions. The data was presented during the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) General meeting in Atlanta.
The company is in the process of enhancing its non-viral Sleeping Beauty platform to embrace the point-of-care (P-O-C) approach for quick production of genetically modified CAR+T-cells. The data was collected from both the first and second generation clinical trials that exhibit safety, disease response, long-term survival, tolerability, and determination of infused CD 19-specific CAR+T cells.
The findings from the preclinical studies reveal that the P-O-C CAR+T cells together with the control switch produced in two days do not need activation in tissue culture to attain the anti-tumor effects and the extended T-cell endurance. As a result, the firm intends to launch its first P-O-C clinical trials in 2018.
According to Laurence Cooper, the CEO at ZIOPHARM, the recent findings highlight the paradigm shift of the possible P-O-C podium by indicating the strength of the company’s Sleeping Beauty-modified T cells, the optimization of CAR, and the pro-survival effect that are related to the mbIL15 expression. Therefore, the data supports the company’s plans to start producing genetically modified products that takes less than two days.
Cooper mentioned that there is a significant need to use the non-viral approach for distribution of cell therapy among the patients which is becoming a big challenge due to its lengthier, complex and expensive viral-based approaches that deny many patients to access the medication.
The company is focusing on various ways to advance its sleeping beauty and the P-O-C approach so as to be allowed to manufacture genetically modified T cells to treat various forms of cancer at an affordable price that favors many patients across the world. The data presentations are based on various clinical trials and studies that being conducted in partnership with the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Intrexon Corporation.