Torque (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) an immuno-oncology company developing first-in-class Deep Primed™ T Cell Therapeutics to direct immune power deep within the tumor microenvironment, announced a high-efficiency T cell manufacturing process engineered by Torque, called “Slipstream™”.
The proprietary Slipstream process is now in place at University of California, Davis (USA) for manufacturing Deep-Primed T-Cells for Torque’s first clinical trial that will initiate later this year in both solid and hematologic cancers.
“Torque’s cell manufacturing strategy is a critical aspect of our mission to dramatically expand cell therapy cures for cancer,” said Bart Henderson, CEO of Torque. “The Slipstream manufacturing process is based on a robust, closed system that surpasses conventional cell therapy manufacturing techniques used for currently marketed T cell therapy products—Slipstream is readily scalable, requires a substantially smaller manufacturing footprint, and is less capital- and labor-intensive. We are pleased to announce this innovative system and our collaboration to build out Slipstream with the UC Davis team led by Gerhard Bauer—one of the country’s premier experts on the management and development of GMP cell manufacturing facilities— to bring a new class of immune cell therapy to patients with cancer.”
Slipstream is a proprietary, high-efficiency T cell manufacturing platform engineered by Torque to operate as modular compact factories. Currently marketed immune cell therapies are produced using open, complex, labor- and cost-intensive processes that require a substantial manufacturing facility. In contrast, Slipstream production is semi-automated and fully closed, which eliminates contamination risk between transfers and can dramatically reduce staffing requirements and the factory footprint. Production capacity can be expanded by adding additional arrays in Lego-like fashion.
Torque’s Deep-Priming platform uses advanced cell process engineering to prime and activate T cells to target multiple tumor antigens, and to tether immune-stimulatory drugs to the surface of these multi-target T cells to direct immune activation in the tumor microenvironment.
In hematologic cancers, this new class of immune cell therapeutics has the potential to improve on the initial success of single-target CAR T therapeutics with expanded efficacy and also move cell therapy treatment out of the hospital with a high margin of safety. For solid tumors, Deep-Primed T cells have the potential to enable efficacy against tumors with heterogeneous antigens protected by hostile microenvironments, which are not readily addressable with the first generation of immune cell therapies.
Torque’s lead product candidate, Deep IL-15, is now in pre-investigational stage of development for hematologic and solid tumors.