LIfT BioSciences reports a substantial increase in cancer killing with the addition of a HER2 targeting CAR to its IMAN cell therapy
- Positive data supports the potential of the iN-LIfT platform to produce a variety of genetically engineered CAR-IMANs to enhance killing and more targeted immunomodulation for different tumour targets
- LIfT enters into licensing discussions for its N-LIfT platform with biopharma companies
London, 3 July 2023 – LIfT BioSciences, (‘LIfT’ or ‘the Company’), a rapidly emerging biotech company bringing to market a first-in-class allogeneic innate cell therapy, today reports a substantially marked increase in cancer killing with the attachment of HER2 CAR to its IMAN cell therapy, using the Company’s second-generation N-LIfT platform.
LIfT is developing a breakthrough allogeneic innate cell therapy platform called Neutrophil Only Leukocyte Infusion Therapy (N-LIfT), that produces different types of immunomodulatory alpha neutrophils (IMANs). IMANs are a type of super enhanced neutrophil with a unique dual mode of action that can kill cancer cells both directly and indirectly, through recruiting the patient’s own immune cells by modulating the tumour microenvironment (commonly known as turning cold tumours “hot”).
The human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a proven target for CAR-T therapy. By adding a HER2 CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) to its IMANs, LIfT has shown that the HER2 CAR-IMAN offers multiple times the killing of genetically unmodified IMANs. With approximately 25% of IMANs expressing the HER2-CAR, a four-fold increase in killing compared to unmodified IMANs was observed. Earlier this year, LIfT demonstrated in ex-vivo patient tumoroid models that unmodified IMANs alone were capable of destroying a range of very difficult to treat solid tumours that are resistant to chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors, including pancreatic, lung, gastric and rectal.
Alex Blyth, Chief Executive Officer of LIfT BioSciences, commented: “This is another important step forward in our mission to develop scalable, cost-effective off-the-shelf cell therapies which can deliver complete remission across all solid tumours. We have already demonstrated the ability of our unmodified IMANs to destroy patient derived tumoroids in a selective manner. By genetically engineering the IMANs with a HER2 CAR, we are now making our IMANs even more potent with potentially hundreds of times the cancer killing ability over a typical cancer patient’s neutrophils. This is a huge immune boost for patients giving them a powerful cancer killing ability that also retrains their immune system to destroy the tumours. It’s a very exciting time and we look forward to entering clinical trials next year.”
Mihil Patel, Cell & Gene Engineering Lead at LIfT BioSciences, added: “Despite the challenges of gene engineering innate immune cells, we have overcome these to show a clear proof of concept that gene engineering enhances the activity of immunomodulatory alpha neutrophils. Our ability to differentiate IMANs from hemopoietic stem cells, rather than just expand them, was achieved in less than 12 months. We are confident that the positive data generated to date can still be further improved upon, and that our N-LIfT platform will be able to target and deliver different payloads to the tumour microenvironment.”
Neutrophils have been somewhat underestimated for use in cancer but new research published in Cell, by Gungabeesoon et al and Hirschhorn et al from Harvard and Cornell University respectively, showed that neutrophils play a key role in determining the success of cancer immunotherapies.
LIfT is now in discussions with biopharma companies to licence its N-LIfT platform to give them access to a whole new type of cell therapy platform for their own CAR assets.
About LIfT BioSciences
LIfT Biosciences is a biotech bringing to market a first-in-class alpha neutrophil cell therapy that overcomes the limitations of current therapies in solid tumours by destroying tumours both directly and indirectly. LIfT’s immunomodulatory alpha neutrophils (IMANs) turn the tumour microenvironment against the tumour as they recruit the rest of the immune system to destroy the tumour to give a durable response and lasting immunity. The patented breakthrough N-LIfT platform is produced from a patented process using exceptional stem cells (iPSC or HSC), a proprietary enhancement media and genetic engineering (e.g. CARs). The resulting CAR-IMAN cells give cancer patients potentially hundreds of times the cancer killing ability they naturally possess.
The company is working with a range of pharmaceutical license partners to develop a portfolio of CAR IMAN cell therapies to deliver complete remission across all solid tumours before the decade is out. LIfT BioSciences was founded by Alex Blyth following the death of his mother to pancreatic cancer. See www.liftbiosciences.com.
Investors & Media:
+44 (0)7718 759116 ablyth@LIfTBioSciences.com
Consilium Strategic Communications:
Mary-Jane Elliott, Namrata Taak, and Lindsey Neville
Image of IMAN connecting to cancerous cell with HER-2 or other threat recognition and degranulating