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New deal for novel cancer therapy

28 July 2017
Immunotherapy in the spotlight

Immuno-oncology company HaemaLogiX has signed an agreement with the University of Sydney and a host of health and research institutions for the commercialisation rights to an immuno-oncology agent that could benefit myeloma patients.

The research institutions involved in the deal include the University of Sydney, Westmead Institute for Medical ResearchWestern Sydney Local Health District, and the Children’s Medical Research Institute.

HaemaLogiX, in association with the Westmead research team, is preparing to test a novel CAR T-cell therapy in myeloma patients commencing in 2018.

The commercialisation rights were assigned after Westmead Institute for Medical Research and staff of the University of Sydney within the Western Sydney Local Health District conducted research to adapt the HaemaLogiX core antibody for use as a CAR T-cell.

“If the clinical trial proves successful, this agent may provide an additional option for patients with drug-resistant myeloma,” said Dr David Gottlieb, Professor of haematology at the University of Sydney and senior physician on the Westmead Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit.

“Agents similar to this have been described by the US National Cancer Institute as a ‘living drug’ because they co-opt the patient’s own immune cells to fight the cancer,” said professor Gottlieb.

“Remarkable clinical results have been achieved in forms of leukaemia and lymphoma in patients who had exhausted all treatment options.”

The research is being funded by a Cancer Council NSW Project Grant. The HaemaLogiX antibody has previously been tested in patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma, and further clinical trials are ongoing.

“This technology is similar to very promising agents referred to c developed by other companies to treat non-myeloma blood cancers that have generated recent publicity,” said Bryce Carmine, chairman and CEO of HaemaLogiX.

Dan Gaffney

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