Obsidian, MD Anderson partner on solid tumor cell therapy

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

November 18, 2020 -- Obsidian Therapeutics and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have entered a multiyear strategic collaboration for the research and development of novel engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) for the treatment of solid tumors.

The agreement will merge Obsidian's cytoDrive technology platform with MD Anderson's experience in TIL cell therapies within its Therapeutics Discovery division. The collaboration will focus on developing TILs armored with regulated membrane-bound interleukin 15 (cytoTIL). The therapy will potentially enhance anti-tumor efficacy and reduce tumor burden in patients suffering from various solid tumors.

The cytoTIL therapy will be engineered using Obsidian's cytoDrive platform, which precisely and reversibly controls protein expression and activity using approved orally bioavailable drugs. By leveraging regulated membrane-bound interleukin-15 (IL-15) to drive antigen-independent expansion of T cells and transactivation of natural killer cells, cytoTIL therapy is anticipated to improve patient response to TIL treatment and expand patient eligibility.

MD Anderson's Biologics Development platform includes an experienced team focused on pioneering biologic therapeutics, such as antibodies and cell therapies. The group is housed in a 60,000-sq-ft good manufacturing practice (GMP) cell therapy manufacturing facility.

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