Systematic evaluation and optimization of immune-targeting modalities for GBM and brain metastases.
The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) is working with Empirica Therapeutics (Empirica), a Canadian start-up company focused on developing data-driven treatments for cancer, to address the unmet medical needs of glioblastoma (GBM), the most common adult malignant primary brain tumor. Current therapies are only partly effective, with frequent relapse and poor patient survival, which correlates with the presence of CD133+ brain tumor-initiating cells that are also implicated in treatment-resistant GBM. By partnering with Dr. Jason Moffat at the University of Toronto (UofT) and collaborators at McMaster University (MAC), Empirica has used genomic screening technology to identify CD133 as a promising target for effective treatment in both in vitro and in vivo models using Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy. CCAB and Empirica will work with the Moffat groupâs technological expertise in CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene editing toward the pre-clinical development of allogeneic, armoured CD133-targeting CAR-Ts as novel, improved and more affordable treatments for potentially all types of cancer, including GBM. The overall aim of this work is for CCAB and Empirica to fund clinical trials in GBM patients at Canadian hospitals and centres, thus offering Canadian patients access to new therapeutic options.