Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Kite, Gadeta collaborate to advance gamma delta T cell receptor technology for solid tumors

Published 20 July 2018

Kite and Gadeta have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop novel gamma delta TCR therapies in various cancers.

Under the financial terms, Kite will provide research and development (R&D) funding for the collaboration and Gadeta will be eligible to receive future payments upon achievement of certain regulatory milestones.

In addition, Kite will make an upfront purchase of equity in Gadeta from Gadeta’s shareholders and may acquire additional equity in Gadeta upon achievement of certain R&D milestones. Kite will have the exclusive option to acquire Gadeta.

Gadeta has developed a proprietary technology to engineer alpha beta T cells with gamma delta TCRs, called TEGs, for the potential treatment of various hematological cancers and solid tumors. This platform has the potential to combine the advantages of conventional T cells, which express alpha and beta TCR chains, with TCRs derived from gamma delta T cells that recognize novel targets in cancer cells, according to preclinical models evaluating the lead TEG candidates.

Unlike alpha beta T cells, gamma delta TCRs do not require expression of cell surface proteins (major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules) for target recognition, and their ability to recognize novel targets under stress or metabolic conditions offer an attractive approach to develop potentially effective cell therapies in solid tumors.

Gadeta was founded in 2015 by Professor Jürgen Kuball, Mark de Boer, Utrecht Holdings and Medicxi, its founding investor.

“We continue to invest in research approaches that support the development of innovative cell therapies for people living with cancer,” said Alessandro Riva, MD, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Oncology Therapeutics & Head, Cell Therapy.

“We are excited to work with Gadeta on its gamma delta TCR technology. This research collaboration adds an additional new platform to our current capabilities in research and cell manufacturing, and deepens our commitment to develop novel approaches to treat solid tumors.”

“Our mission is to develop novel gamma delta TCR cell therapies that have the potential to benefit patients with cancer,” said Shelley Margetson, Gadeta’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to gain the support of a leader in the cell therapy field, which has seen the potential of our platform and products to redefine cancer therapy.”

Gadeta has developed a technology platform based on combinatorial T cell receptor exchange (CTE) to create optimized gamma delta T cell receptors (TCRs) with an enhanced anti-cancer reactivity.

 The platform is based on research from Prof. Jürgen Kuball from University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) and Chief Scientific Officer at Gadeta. Gadeta’s investigational cell-based anti-cancer products called T Cells Engineered To Express A Defined Gamma Delta TCR (TEGs) have therapeutic potential for combating and eradicating both hematological and solid tumors. This approach utilizes high-affinity gamma delta TCRs expressed on alpha beta T cells with enhanced proliferation capacity.

Source: Company Press Release