Fate Therapeutics said today it will partner with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to develop off-the-shelf T-cell product candidates using engineered pluripotent cell lines, under a three-year collaboration whose value was not disclosed.
The collaboration is designed to combine MSK’s expertise in manufacturing and delivering cell-based immunotherapies—based on pluripotent cell-derived, tumor-targeting T cells capable of profound tumor clearance in vivo—with Fate’s platform to generate, genetically engineer, isolate, and bank pluripotent cell lines.
“Together, we are at the forefront of an off-the-shelf paradigm shift, seeking to broaden patient access to revolutionary T-cell immunotherapies through a renewable, robust and standardized product approach,” Fate Therapeutics president and CEO Scott Wolchko said in a statement.
Fate Therapeutics added that the partners will work to create pluripotent cell lines that are engineered for enhanced antigen specificity and functionality, optimize T-cell differentiation protocols, and clinically translate T-cell product candidates derived from engineered pluripotent cells.
“This unique approach offers the prospect for off-the-shelf delivery of T-cell immunotherapies with enhanced safety and therapeutic potential at the scale necessary to serve significant numbers of patients,” added Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Cell Engineering and the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair at MSK, who will lead the collaboration’s R&D will activities.
To advance translation, Fate Therapeutics has launched a new venture company, Tfinity Therapeutics, that will focus exclusively on advancing off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapies across a wide range of diseases using the company’s pluripotent cell platform. Tfinity is a majority-owned subsidiary of Fate, and holds an option to license from Fate intellectual property covering pluripotent cell-derived T-cell immunotherapies.
Fate’s intellectual property portfolio consists of more than 60 issued patents and 90 pending patent applications that are owned or exclusively licensed by the company. The patents and applications cover compositions and methods for deriving, engineering, maintaining and differentiating induced pluripotent cells.
Fate Therapeutics said it has exclusively licensed from MSK intellectual property covering induced pluripotent cell-derived immune cells, including T cells and NK cells derived from pluripotent cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors, for human therapeutic use.
Fate Therapeutics also holds an option to exclusively license intellectual property arising from all R&D under the collaboration, the company added.