Oncternal to collaborate with Karolinska Institute on ROR1-targeting CAR cell therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

January 8, 2021 -- Oncternal Therapeutics has established a research and development collaboration with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden to advance novel receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1)-targeting cell therapies focused on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and CAR natural killer (NK) cells.

Under the collaboration, investigational new drug (IND)-enabling preclinical studies will be performed at the Institutet's NextGenNK Center. According to researchers at the center, the ROR1 is a promising target in many hematologic cancer and solid tumor indications and could be well-suited for cell therapy.

Oncternal's investigational monoclonal antibody, cirmtuzumab, which inhibits the ROR1 pathway, is being evaluated in two early stage clinical trials for several cancer indications. Cirmtuzumab is the antibody backbone on which the company plans to develop the new CAR T therapies.

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