Antibiotics and Infectious diseasesOncology


Biotechnology company Adaptimmune is focused on the use of T cell therapy to treat cancer and infectious disease.

Biotechnology company Adaptimmune (LSE: IMM) is focused on the use of T cell therapy to treat cancer and infectious disease. It aims to utilize the body'’s own machinery – the T cell – to target and destroy cancerous or infected cells by using engineered, increased affinity T cell receptor (TCRs) as a means of strengthening natural patient T cell responses.

Cancerous or virally infected cells will typically present small parts or peptides of larger viral proteins or abnormal cancer proteins on their surface, offering a "molecular fingerprint", called an epitope, for killer T-cells from the immune system to identify. In a healthy individual, this triggers an immune response, eliminating the affected cell. However, viruses such as HIV mutate rapidly, swiftly disguising their fingerprints to allow them to hide from killer T-cells while cancer proteins are usually derived from self-proteins against which natural TCRs do not respond.

Adaptimmune'’s technology uniquely enhances the natural TCR affinity to either viral or cancer protein epitopes on an individual patient’s cells overcoming these obstacles for therapeutic benefit. Adaptimmune has undertaken significant preclinical development with a number of pipeline TCRs to demonstrate their potency and specificity in vitro. The TCRs in the current ovarian study are specific to the cancer testis antigen targets NY-ESO-1 157-165 (HLA A2; SLLMWITQC) and was engineered using Adaptimmune'’s proprietary TCR engineering platform. It is poised to gather clinical safety and efficacy data on these and other TCRs with regulatory approvals for human trials in HIV and multiple cancers now in place.

Adaptimmune undertakes all of its own research and development using proprietary T cell receptor engineering technology co-developed with its sister company Immunocore Ltd (formerly Avidex/MediGene) and exclusively licensed for T cell therapy. Backed by private investors, Adaptimmune is now in the clinic in the USA, in HIV as well as multiple cancer indications with its engineered TCR to the NY-ESO-1/LAGE-1 cancer testis antigen. It was established in July 2008 with a research base in Oxford, UK, and a clinical base in Philadelphia, USA.

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