— CAT-179 significantly reduces tumor burden and extends survival in a mouse HER2+ xenograft model–
BOSTON, Mass. – April 8, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing allogeneic, off‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced preclinical data showing that CAT-179, a cryopreserved, allogeneic HER2-targeted CAR-NK cell therapy, reduces tumor burden and extends survival in a HER2 mouse xenograft model. The results will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting being held in New Orleans from April 8‑13, 2022.
“With these results, CAT-179 exemplifies the industry-leading capabilities of our TAILWIND platform to engineer off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapies with the features to overcome critical barriers to treat solid tumors,” said Vipin Suri, PhD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer of Catamaran Bio. “We are successfully integrating NK cell engineering with scalable and efficient cell processing and manufacturing to deliver on the promise of off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapies for solid tumors, and we are excited to be rapidly advancing CAT-179 toward the clinic.”
Data presented in a poster titled, “Allogeneic Natural Killer Cells Engineered to Express HER2 CAR, Interleukin 15, and TGF beta Dominant Negative Receptor Effectively Control HER2+ Tumors,” describe experiments showing key capabilities of the TAILWINDTM platform and characterization of the HER2-targeted CAR-NK cells. Highlights from the preclinical results include:
- CAT-179 was efficiently engineered (45% CAR+) from donor-derived NK cells using the non-viral TcBuster transposon system, incorporating a multi-cistronic cargo containing HER2 CAR, IL15, and TGFβ dominant negative receptor (TGFβ DNR). The result was stable expression of the construct without the need for post-engineering selection.
- CAT-179 demonstrated HER2-CAR-driven interferon gamma production and tumor cell killing in vitro when co-cultured with HER2+ tumor cells.
- The TGFβ DNR in CAT-179 demonstrated resistance to TGFb-mediated immunosuppression in vitro.
- CAT-179 cells persisted in vitro without the need for exogenous cytokines and showed significantly enhanced in vivopersistence up to at least 40 days in mouse models.
- CAT-179 showed potent anti-tumor activity against a xenografted HER2+ ovarian cancer cell line (SKOV3), leading to a substantial survival benefit in tumor-bearing mice. Overall, CAT-179 treated animals demonstrated tumor reduction of 98% compared to control animals (p<0.019 two-tailed t-test) and had a median survival of 114 days vs. control animal median survival of 60 days.
The poster is available on the publications and presentations section of the Catamaran Bio website.
About Catamaran Bio
Catamaran Bio is developing novel, off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies designed to treat a broad range of cancers, including solid tumors. Our proprietary capabilities enable us to harness the natural cancer-fighting properties of NK cells and enhance and tailor their effectiveness with the power of synthetic biology and innovative non-viral cell engineering. We are using our TAILWIND™ platform, an integrated suite of technologies, to specifically address the end-to-end methods of engineering, processing and manufacturing NK cells and rapidly advance our pipeline of CAR-NK cell therapy programs. Our team combines experienced biopharmaceutical leadership with founding scientists who are pioneers in NK cell biology, engineering, manufacturing and clinical application. Catamaran is backed by leading financial and corporate investors, including SV Health Investors, Sofinnova Partners, Lightstone Ventures, Takeda Ventures, Astellas Venture Management, and the UMN Discovery Capital investment program. For more information, please visit www.catamaranbio.com and follow us on LinkedIn and @CatamaranBio on Twitter.
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network