CAR-T cell therapy, wherein T cells are engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) which enable them to “attack” cancer cells, has emerged as one of the most powerful and promising immunotherapy approaches in modern medicine.
A recent manuscript in Science, titled Remote control of therapeutic T cells through a small molecule–gated chimeric receptor, reported on a breakthrough approach for CAR-based therapy. Dr Wendel Lim and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco described the development of an “ON-switch” CAR–which is essentially a CAR whose activity is dependent on a small molecule.
In other words, the switch allows for external, remote control over CAR T cell activity by inducing such activity with the presence of a small molecule. This switch is reversible, so activity can be switched off just like it can be turned on.
The switch is based on small molecule-conjugated polypeptides.
While remarkable, this work is still at the proof of principle stage, but future development might include trigger and condition-specific switches which would allow the cells to further increase their specificity.
MEET AKRON AT CAR-T SUMMIT THIS WEEK
Akron will participate at the CAR-T Summit 2015 taking place November 12th and 13th in Boston, MA.
The summit brings together leaders in the field, from academia to industry, to tackle issues in clinical development, manufacturing and global commercialization of CAR-T therapies.
The Summit takes place at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge.
To schedule a meeting, contact us.