The biopharmaceutical company Autolus has acquired global rights to develop and commercialize a novel T-cell therapy for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and leukaemias. The therapy, known as AUTO1, is currently the subject of two Phase 1 studies: one in paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) led by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) GOSH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) researcher Professor Persis Amrolia and the other in adult ALL led by Dr Martin Pule at UCL Hospital (UCLH).
Autolus Limited specialises in developing next-generation programmed T-cell therapies and has acquired the rights from UCL Business plc (UCLB), the technology-transfer company of University College London (UCL).
The AUTO1 therapy uses a type of immune cell (T-cells) that have been modified to efficiently recognize and kill cancer cells. The T cells are engineered to express a novel CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), which targets B-cell lymphomas and leukaemia expressing the CD19 protein. AUTO1 is also designed to reduce the risk of cytokine release syndrome - a serious and potentially life-threatening side effect of immunotherapy. In the paediatric ALL study, which was recently presented at the the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, investigators observed levels of efficacy similar to those in other reported studies without the need to administer immunosuppressive drugs.
This partnership between UCL Business and Autolus will support the continued development of this promising approach and bring this ground-breaking new treatment one step closer to patients.
Read more: Autolus press release