Poseida, TScan partner on allogenic TCR therapies for COVID-19

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

October 21, 2020 -- Poseida Therapeutics and TScan Therapeutics are joining forces to develop T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies for the treatment of COVID-19.

Poseida's allogeneic T-cell platform will be used with TScan's immunodominant epitopes and TCR sequences to develop and commercialize allogeneic TCR T-cell therapies.

Much of the current COVID-19 research has focused on neutralizing antibodies that block viral infection or small molecule drugs that inhibit viral replication. This partnership instead focuses on cellular therapy, particularly T-cell responses, because emerging research shows patients who fail to mount effective T-cell responses often end up with more severe and life-threatening disease. Injecting virus-specific, engineered T cells may mitigate this effect.

TScan said generating a memory T-cell response targeting specific proteins could be important for fighting the virus and for long-term immunity. Adding in Poseida's allogeneic T-cell product, which generates a very high percentage of stem cell memory T cells, has the potential to yield hundreds of doses from a single manufacturing run, the firms said.

Under the partnership, Poseida will gain access to TScan's data and intellectual property related to TCR sequences and targets and TScan will provide TCR expertise. Other details, particularly financial, were not disclosed.

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