Collaboration forms for development of targeted immunotherapies to treat cancer


Morphogenesis — Florida-based immunotherapy company — and the Cell and Gene Therapy Group at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden have announced a collaboration for the development of targeted immunotherapies to treat cancer.

Morphogenesis, Inc., a Tampa, FL-based immunotherapy company, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Group, Department of Medicine, Huddinge at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden today announced the commencement of a two and a half year collaboration combining Morphogenesis’ gene therapy with the exosome-mediated delivery technology developed by the KI Department of Medicine.

Dr. Evren Alici, the KI lead, will use Morphogenesis’ proprietary gene therapy to develop injectable next generation exosome-mediated in vivo cancer therapies. “Exosomes are small vesicles secreted by nearly all cells. Increasingly, exosomes are being recognized as potential therapeutics because they play an important role in intercellular communication,” he explained.

The Swedish-based KI team and Morphogenesis have a mutual interest in using targeted exosomes to deliver gene therapy payloads to otherwise inaccessible patient tumors. The initial phase of the project will focus on the treatment of Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells.

Patricia Lawman, Morphogenesis CEO, remarked on the collaboration saying, “This collaboration brings together two amazing technology platforms that could open up a non-invasive, non-toxic and targeted approach for treating hard to access tumors. If we’re successful, this new type of immunotherapy will have far reaching implications beyond myeloma, meaning we can treat virtually any type of cancer by generating a patient-specific vaccine right in the patient.”

Morphogenesis has enjoyed other successful collaborations involving its patented technologies.  In a recent project with the University of Florida, the company’s microbead technology was used to develop a prototype cell-separation device to sort rare cells from complex biological samples.  And in Tampa, FL, the Moffitt Cancer Center tested the company’s gene therapy in pre-clinical studies in preparation for a human melanoma clinical trial commencing this month.

Dr. Alici commented “We are excited to develop and test a novel therapeutic approach for patients with Multiple Myeloma in collaboration with Morphogenesis. We believe that the data generated by this collaboration will help us elucidate promising but previously untested strategies to overcome immune evasion by malignant myeloma cells.”

The strategic collaboration is led by Morphogenesis President, Michael Lawman, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Shamblott, PhD and KI’s Evren Alici, MD, PhD and Carin Dahlberg, PhD.

Source – Bioflorida

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