Chimeric Therapeutics’ mission to beat cancer with its “natural killer” therapy has hit a new high point, with test-tube studies showing a 300 per cent increase in its ability to kill the pancreatic form of the insidious disease. The company’s latest revelations also show its off-the-shelf “CLTX CAR NK” cell therapy recording a 260 per cent jump in killing ovarian cancer.
Chimeric Therapeutics’ mission to beat cancer with its “natural killer” (NK) therapy has hit a new high point, with its pre-clinical test-tube studies showing a 300 per cent increase in its ability to kill the pancreatic form of the insidious disease.
The company’s latest revelations also show its off-the-shelf “CLTX CAR NK” cell therapy recording a 260 per cent jump in killing ovarian cancer. Management says it has obtained positive results from the pre-clinical testing of its proprietary “CHM 1301” treatment, which it calls its “next-generation” chlorotoxin (CLTX) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) “natural killer” (NK) cell therapy program.
With a high percentage of families now touched in one way or another by the scourge of cancer, it was maybe hope in investors that sparked significant interest in Chimeric’s shares during today’s intraday trading. Its stock jumped from a close yesterday of 2.9 cents to hit a high of 4.7c – a jump of more than 62 per cent and on much bigger than usual volumes, with more than 103 million shares traded.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the world’s deadliest forms of the disease, while ovarian cancer is widely known as the “silent killer”, as it is often too late for the patient once it has been diagnosed.
Management believes its expansion into the new disease areas demonstrates the potential of its therapies to address high and unmet needs in solid tumour types beyond glioblastoma.
Chimeric Therapeutics chief executive officer and managing director Jennifer Chow said: “We believe this work is highly impactful as it demonstrates the synergy of the assets that currently exist in Chimeric’s portfolio, the ability for Chimeric to expand into new disease areas and the potential for enhanced efficacy with an off the shelf version of our CHM 1101 CAR.”
CHM 1301 was studied in pre-clinical laboratory tests on human ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer, with both proving highly effective. The company says its killing of ovarian cancer cells was increased up to about 260 per cent in comparison with tests using its first-generation “CHM 0201 cells”, while its killing of pancreatic cancer cells was increased by up to 300 per cent.
Chimeric’s CHM 1301 was created by taking “CHM 1101” – a CLTX CAR T cell therapy to treat patients with solid tumours – and merging it with CHM 0201, which is manufactured using a healthy donors’ NK cells. The method allows for large numbers of cells to be frozen and made readily available for patients on demand.
CHM 0210 last year revealed positive phase-1A clinical test data in colorectal cancer and acute myeloid leukemia patients. The company says its CHM 1301 procedure demonstrates the value of evolving synergies between different therapies, implying the potential to “tailor” an assortment of therapeutic developments to meet distinct medical needs.
Chimeric says based on the successful outcome of its studies, it will now advance the CHM 1301 program to the next stage of pre-clinical development to further enhance cell potency and resistance against the micro-environment of solid tumours, which often suppresses the immune system.
NK cell therapy is a type of cellular immunotherapy, like CAR T-cell therapy, where the cells form part of the immune system and attack other malignant cells. Preclinical studies are part of a process on the long path to deciding whether a drug is ready for clinical trials – a progression known as bench-to-bedside.
Wide-ranging doses of the drug are tested using in vitro (test tube or cell culture) and in vivo (animal) experiments. It is also now possible to perform in silico profiling using computer models of the drug/target interactions, before moving to multiple phases of human trials.
There was a time not too long ago when “finding a cure for cancer” was used in daily parlance as a metaphor for the impossible. But Chimeric’s ground-breaking developments seem to be bringing the company – and the world – incremental steps closer to expunging that old expression.
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