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13 November, 2020 - 21:46 By Tony Quested

New Oxbridge alliance to develop next-generation CAR-T cell therapies

PhoreMost CEO Chris Torrance

PhoreMost, the Cambridge biopharma company dedicated to developing drugs against intractable disease targets, has entered into a discovery collaboration with UK-quoted Oxford Biomedica plc.

The gene and cell therapy group will partner PhoreMost to develop next-generation CAR-T cell therapies. Financial details are not disclosed. 

PhoreMost will deploy its in-house expertise and next-generation phenotypic screening platform SITESEEKER® to identify therapeutic candidates for Oxford Biomedica’s LentiVector® gene therapy delivery system.  The programme will initially focus on CAR-T therapy and aims to develop next-generation cell therapies with significantly improved efficacy and durability.

PhoreMost CEO, Dr Chris Torrance said: “This collaboration with Oxford Biomedica, a global pioneer in cell and gene therapies, is further recognition of the power of SITESEEKER, offering an exciting opportunity to discover and accelerate the development of clinical stage products. The natural complementarity between SITESEEKER and LentiVector offers great promise for this and future collaborations between the two companies.”

SITESEEKER exploits protein shape diversity to find functionally active peptides linked to any chosen disease setting, significantly enhancing the power of phenotypic screening and translation into therapeutic modalities. Based on proprietary protein interference, or ‘PROTEINi®’, technology, SITESEEKER is able to systematically probe the entire proteome in a live cell environment to identity and exploit novel drug targets.

Oxford Biomedica is a world-leading pioneer of cell and gene therapies. Its LentiVector platform enables the successful development of breakthrough gene and cell-based medicines, and through collaborations with pharmaceutical partners, has delivered the first FDA and EMA approved CAR-T cell therapy.

Oxford Biomedica CEO John Dawson said: “We are excited to apply this next-generation technology to our LentiVector platform. The collaboration has the potential to deliver more effective CAR-T therapies, and we look forward to working closely with the PhoreMost team.”

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