The partnership promotes complementary scientific technologies to develop next-generation cell-based therapies for patients with solid cancers
MENLO PARK, CA, and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 2, 2020 – Orca Bio and Lyell Immunopharma today announced a research partnership to jointly identify next-generation T cell therapies that will combine the high-precision purification T cell technologies from Orca Bio with the scientific expertise in T cell biology from Lyell to generate potentially synergistic therapeutic solutions for solid tumors.
Lyell Immunopharma has brought together an unrivaled scientific team focused on advancing the science of therapeutic T cells, including the role of T cell differentiation. Orca Bio has developed T cell therapies for patients with blood diseases while also streamlining the commercial manufacture of high-precision cell therapies using OrcaSort™, an ultra-fast, clinically compatible cell sorter.
The ability to produce optimal starting-cell populations is one of many continuing challenges in the development of curative T cell therapies. Evidence from current generation cell therapies suggest that the proportion of cell types and their stages of differentiation may impact the safety and efficacy of T cell therapies. Together, the companies aim to mitigate this challenge by utilizing their proprietary technologies to effectively treat solid tumor cancers.
“Lyell Immunopharma is focused on developing curative T cell therapies for solid tumor cancers by defining starting-cell preparations and modulating T cells, so they are functional in the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment,” said Nick Restifo, MD, Executive Vice President of Research for Lyell Immunopharma. “This collaboration with Orca Bio provides the potential to more efficiently define starting-cell preparations, which I believe could lead to more effective T cell therapies.”
“Orca Bio has developed extremely pure doses of stem and immune cells that can be precisely formulated to treat cancers,” said Ivan Dimov, PhD, cofounder and CEO of Orca Bio. “By combining our scientific expertise with that of Lyell Immunopharma, and by applying our specialized manufacturing platform, we aim to create the scalable production of adoptive T cell therapies that can reach patients with unprecedented speed.”
Orca Bio and Lyell Immunopharma will each continue to pursue programs independently and through their other partnerships.