Immatics Initiates Second Phase I Clinical Trial of its Unique ACTengine® Platform in Patients with Advanced Solid Cancers
Houston, Texas, August 16th, 2018 – Immatics, a leading company in the field of cancer immunotherapy, today announced that it has initiated enrollment of patients into a phase I trial of IMA202, its second T-cell Receptor (TCR)-transduced adoptive cell therapy program. IMA202 is an investigational immunotherapy which uses Immatics’ proprietary ACTengine® approach and is based on genetic engineering of the patient’s own T cells to express an exogenous TCR. The goal is to redirect and activate the T cells to treat solid tumors. The single-center clinical study is now open for enrollment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
The study (IMA202-101) will include approximately 12 patients with relapsed and/or refractory solid tumors, including but not limited to advanced non-small cell lung cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma, for which no standard of care therapy is available.
Immatics’ ACTengine® approach engineers the patients’ own T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to express a novel, exogenous T-cell receptor (TCR) which is targeted to a site on the tumor identified by Immatics’ proprietary XPRESIDENT® target discovery platform. ACTengine® combines several innovative features:
- TCRs specifically recognizing the XPRESIDENT®-identified target are selected via Immatics’ proprietary high-throughput TCR discovery platform from the natural, human T-cell repertoire. The TCR used in this trial has been selected for highest specificity from more than one hundred TCRs using Immatics’ XPRESIDENT®-guided on- and off-target toxicity screening.
- The novel TCR recognizes its target with optimal affinity for an adoptive cellular therapy (ACT) approach.
- The TCR-transduced T cells are activated and multiplied outside the body before being infused into the patient.
- Patients are eligible for ACTengine® cell therapy if the target of interest is present on the patient’s tumor as demonstrated by biomarker profiling.
The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of the ACTengine® approach, and specifically IMA202, in target-positive solid cancer patients. The secondary objectives include the evaluation of feasibility, the persistence of T cells in vivo, and the assessment of anti-tumor activity and biomarkers. The IMA202 phase I trial will be conducted by the Department of Thoracic Oncology, the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Stephen L. Eck, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Immatics US, commented: “Regulatory approval to start our second clinical study in our ACTengine®-based cell therapy program is a significant step for Immatics. This study exemplifies Immatics’ XPRESIDENT® target discovery capability and TCR discovery pipeline which are industry-leading cancer immunotherapy platforms. We are very excited to combine these capabilities in a trial led by the world-class investigators from MD Anderson Cancer Center in order to develop exciting new treatment options for cancer patients.”
Additional information about this study is available at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Immatics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company active in the discovery and development of T-cell redirecting immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. The Company’s transformative product candidates are ‒ best in class ‒ Adoptive Cell Therapies and Bispecific TCR molecules. These products are directed against tumor targets that have been identified and validated by Immatics’ proprietary and world-leading XPRESIDENT® technology. XPRESIDENT® is the most sensitive, unbiased and high-throughput technology capable of identifying targets in virtually any type of cancer and any HLA type. Together with Immatics’ powerful TCR discovery technology, these two platforms allow a full range of cancer therapies to be developed.
Immatics’ pipeline includes T-cell therapy programs based on the proprietary ACTolog®, ACTengine® and ACTallo® approaches, which are developed in collaboration through Immatics US with University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and co-funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), and several bispecific TCR and antibody molecules.
Operating from Tuebingen, Munich and Houston, the Company has recognized that novel, better and safer targets are the key to developing future cancer immunotherapies and it is Immatics’ mission to deliver the power of T cells to cancer patients.
The ACTengine® concept is based on genetically engineering a patient’s own T cells to express an exogenous T-cell receptor (TCR) to recognize the cancer cell targets as identified by Immatics’ XPRESIDENT® platform. ACTengine® uses high-avidity and high-specificity exogenous T-cell receptors (TCRs) identified from natural, human T-cell repertoires, which are introduced by viral vectors into patients’ T cells essentially “reprograming” these to recognize and kill the tumor cells. The engineered T cells are then grown up and reinfused back into the patient for treatment. Patients are potentially eligible for ACTengine® cell therapy if the target of interest is present on the patient’s tumor as demonstrated by a biomarker diagnostics test. The ACTengine® T-cell products are manufactured at The Evelyn H. Griffin Stem Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth).