We are developing a first-in-class T-cell platform for targeting cancer and infectious diseases. The platform consists of a newly discovered, long-lived, and stem-like cell population (CD45 RO RAi ) called “RORA-Tscm cells”. Presence of RORA-Tscm cells correlates with reduced tumor burdens in animal models and these cells
are emerging as a harbinger of better clinical outcomes
Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. At RORA Biologics, we are developing a new cell platform for making a wide variety of CAR-T drugs with different cancer-targeting specificities. A key advantage of our approach is the possibility of making CAR-T therapies more durable while using less drug per patient. These are significant advantages because they could lead to lower CAR-T drug costs (less drug needed per patient) and potential for reduced severe side effects (less drug decreases possibility for damaging cytokine storms).
Our novel approach for making new CAR-T drugs relies on our discovery of a special cell subset in the T lymphocyte maturation pathway (below). We found a new T-cell subset (CD45 RO RAi ) that correlates with reduced tumor burdens in animal models. These cells (called RORA-Tscm) have a remarkable ability to self-renew (circular arrows) when compared to more mature T-cells in the pathway.
Using proprietary methods developed at Case Western Reserve University, we know how to select and expand RORA-Tscm cells. We’ve used these expanded cells to create a platform on which to build new RORA CAR-T drugs (below) with potentially better durability and safety characteristics.
For autologous therapies, RORA-Tscm cells will be isolated from a patient’s own T cells and selectively expanded using our proprietary technology. The Tscm cells are isolated from a sample of the patient’s blood and then genetically modified to express a desired chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on their surface. The CAR is targeted to recognize a specific marker on the surface of cancer cells.
We are also developing an allogeneic therapy which may potentially overcome limitations of autologous CAR-T therapies by modifying the cells to reduce patient autoimmune responses. If successful, allogeneic therapies can be stored for off-the-shelf use on demand.