Transgene and PersonGen Announce Collaboration to Evaluate a New Combination Therapy Against Solid Tumors
Collaboration to Evaluate the Combination of Transgene’s Oncolytic Virus and PersonGen’s CAR-T Cells in Preclinical Models
Strasbourg, France, and Suzhou, China, January 18, 2022, 5:45 pm CET – Transgene (Euronext Paris: TNG), a biotech company that designs and develops virus-based immunotherapeutics against cancer, and PersonGen BioTherapeutics, a Chinese biotech company at clinical trial stage, which is developing breakthrough and innovative CAR-T cell therapies for solid tumors and hematologic tumors, today announced a strategic collaboration to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of combination therapy associating PersonGen's TAA06 CAR-T cell injection with intravenous (IV) administration of an armed oncolytic virus, from Transgene’s Invir.IO™ platform, in solid tumors including pancreatic cancer and brain glioma. The collaboration aims to demonstrate the combination’s likely synergistic mechanisms to potentiate CAR-T cell therapy.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Transgene will develop multiple new OV candidates, using its patented oncolytic virus backbone VVcopTK-RR- and its Invir.IO™ technology platform, specifically for IV administration in combination with PersonGen's TAA06 CAR-T injection. PersonGen will evaluate the efficacy of the combination to eliminate solid tumors in preclinical models.
While CAR-T cell drugs have achieved great success in the treatment of hematological tumor therapies, there are many clinical challenges with the use of these novel therapies to treat solid tumors. One of the most critical obstacles is that the solid tumor microenvironment not only obstructs the homing of CAR-T cells, but also inhibits CAR-T cells' function. In addition, the high heterogeneity of solid tumors also facilitates immune escape from CAR-T cell therapy.
TAA06, has been independently developed by PersonGen, which has filed an investigational new drug (IND) application for this novel CAR-T therapy in China and will initiate the IND in the US later this year. Preclinical studies with TAA06, including pharmacodynamic data have shown superior in vivo and in vitro therapeutic efficacy in solid tumors.
Patented VVcopTK-RR- oncolytic viruses developed with Transgene’s Invir.IO™ platform are able to:
· selectively replicate in cancer cells leading to tumor lysis;
· effectively release antitumor payloads into the tumor;
· stimulate an immune response locally in the tumor, thus optimizing the safety profile of the virus with the added potential to transform a “cold” tumor into a “hot” tumor.
Clinical and preclinical data has demonstrated that after IV administration, VVcopTK-RR- oncolytic viruses selectively replicate and persist in tumor cells leading to the local expression of its functional payload.
Based on these highly supportive data, Transgene and PersonGen believe that combining Transgene’s OV and PersonGen’s CAR-T therapies could overcome the challenges of solid tumor heterogeneity by improving the tumor microenvironment.
 Cassier et al. “Bioavailability and activity of oncolytic virus TG6002 after intravenous administration in patients with advanced gastrointestinal carcinomas” ESMO 2021, 16–21 September 2021, Poster presentation;
Bendjama et al. “Oncolytic virus TG6002 locates to tumors after intravenous infusion and induces tumor-specific expression of a functional pro-drug activating enzyme in patients with advanced gastrointestinal carcinomas” 2021 AACR Annual Meeting, April 9-14, 2021, Poster presentation