Poseida’s CAR T-cell Therapy Eradicates Previously Incurable Prostate Cancer in Mice

Poseida’s CAR T-cell Therapy Eradicates Previously Incurable Prostate Cancer in Mice

Poseida Therapeutics’ CAR T-cell therapy P-PSMA-101 eradicated a previously incurable type of human prostate cancer implanted in mice, the company reported.

Another CAR T-cell therapy that has reached doctor’s offices has failed to counter the cancer, researchers said. The implication was that the improvements Poseida has introduced make a difference.

Poseida’s founder and CEO, Eric Ostertag, presented the findings of the preclinical-trial study at the 24th Prostate Cancer Foundation Annual Retreat in Washington. It started Oct. 5 and ends Oct. 7.

“We are impressed that P-PSMA-101 was able to eliminate tumors beyond the limit of detection using an aggressive cancer cell line that was previously incurable with other treatment modalities,” Ostertag said in a press release.

The PSMA part of the product name is short for prostate-specific membrane antigen — a molecule found on the surface of most prostate cancer cells. P-PMSA-101’s genetically modified T-cells target this molecule to fight the cancer.

CAR T-cell therapy involves using a patient’s immune T-cells to fight cancer. The first step is harvesting T-cells from a patient. Medical professionals genetically alter them so they can fight a cancer better and multiply them before injecting them back into the patient.

Poseida has made changes in the way the T-cells are engineered. It has also introduced modifications that make the cells easier to manufacture in the large numbers required for cancer treatment.

A key change is that T-cells it uses are mainly stem cell memory T-cells, or Tscms. These cells end up dominating the T-cell mix even if there are few of them in the cell soup gathered from a patient. Poseida researchers think Tscm cells make treatment responses particularly long-lasting.

The company is already testing a myeloma-adapted version of CAR T-cell therapy in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

“Consistent with findings from our CAR-T program in multiple myeloma models, it appears that a high concentration of stem cell memory T-cells and improved stability of the binder [the cells’ receptor] are resulting in unprecedented durability of response, without re-administration of treatment,” Ostertag said.

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Magdalena holds an MSc in Pharmaceutical Bioscience and an interdisciplinary PhD merging the fields of psychiatry, immunology and neuropharmacology. Her previous research focused on metabolic and immunologic changes in psychotic disorders. She is now focusing on science writing, allowing her to culture her passion for medical science and human health.
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