MabVax Therapeutics Signs Research Agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to Develop Novel CAR T-Cell Based Anti-Cancer Immunotherapies for Treatment of Pancreatic and Small Cell Lung Cancers

On May 31, 2017 MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBVX), a clinical stage oncology drug development company, reported it entered into a sponsored research agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) for the development of novel Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapeutics using antibody targeting sequences derived from MabVax’s fully-human antibodies for pancreatic, small cell lung, and other solid tumor cancers (Press release, MabVax, MAY 31, 2017, View Source [SID1234519339]). CAR T-cell therapeutics are unique anti-cancer immunotherapies that genetically modify a patient’s own T-cells to recognize an antigen on targeted tumor cells.

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Under the new agreement, MabVax will provide funding to evaluate the efficacy of multiple CAR T-cell products incorporating several different antibody targeting sequences. The research program will evaluate in xenograft models of pancreatic and small cell lung cancer targeting sequences from MabVax’s leading monoclonal antibody clinical development candidate HuMab-5B1. Multiple CAR T-cell constructs have been created and tested in cell based assays demonstrating utility and warranting continued testing in animal models of pancreatic cancer and other CA19-9 expressing tumors.

MabVax has provided a second set of novel antibody targeting sequences from its clinical and research programs to MSK for development into new CAR T-cell constructs for the treatment of solid tumors. MSK will evaluate the new CAR T-cell constructs and test in both in vitro and in animal models of solid tumors with a goal of completing investigational new drug (IND) enabling pre-clinical studies. The work will be conducted in the laboratory of Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Cell Engineering and Gene Transfer and Gene Expression at MSK.

MabVax has certain rights to the new CAR T-cell inventions developed during the collaboration, including an exclusive time-limited option to license MSK’s rights in such inventions.

"We are excited that we have finalized this important research opportunity with MSK," stated J. David Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of MabVax. "We believe that the human targeting sequences derived from our antibody program have demonstrated remarkable specificity for antigens that are over-expressed on difficult to treat cancers. Importantly, this collaboration will bring us another step forward as we aim to further understand the depth, breadth and utility of our pipeline. Incorporating those discoveries into promising CAR T-cell technology developed at MSK holds real promise for patients suffering from solid tumor cancers. We look forward to working with MSK to evaluate these novel CAR T-cell products."