AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, and Calibr, a nonprofit drug discovery division of Scripps Research, announced a collaboration to develop T-cell therapies aimed primarily at cancer, including solid tumors.
This collaboration broadens AbbVie’s oncology research to access advanced precision medicine technology to expand the development of potentially life-changing treatments for patients with cancer.
Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies harness the power of a cancer patient’s own immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells. Despite promising results in hematological malignancies, current CAR-T therapies in development for solid tumors have demonstrated limitations due to rapid activation and expansion of CAR-T cells that can lead to serious adverse events. Calibr’s novel cell therapy program, led by Travis Young, Ph.D., director of protein sciences at Calibr, is designed to enhance safety, versatility and efficacy through a proprietary modular “switchable” CAR-T cell that uses antibody-based switch molecules to control the activation and antigen specificity of CAR-T cells. Calibr’s proprietary technology may enable the development of universal CAR-T-based treatments across several types of hematological and solid tumor indications.
Calibr plans to enter this lead candidate into clinical studies for lymphoma in 2019. In addition, the agreement provides AbbVie with an option to acquire an exclusive license to Calibr’s switchable CAR-T platform and programs within the first four years of the collaboration.
Calibr (USA) is a first-of-its kind non-profit translational research Institute dedicated to creating the next generation of medicines. Part of Scripps Research and situated in the heart of San Diego’s Torrey Pines Mesa biomedical research hub.