– Two poster presentations at ASGCT Annual Meeting demonstrate potential of synthetic receptors to prevent TGFβ-mediated immunosuppression and enhance NK cell expansion and function –

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – May 16, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, is presenting new preclinical data today at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting, being held in Washington, DC. The data demonstrate successful engineering of CAR-NK cells to preserve and enhance NK cell activity in the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.

“The ability to enable robust functioning of CAR-NK cells in the immunosuppressive solid tumor microenvironment will be critical to the success of cell therapies,” said Vipin Suri, PhD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer of Catamaran Bio. “We are presenting data on a TGFβ receptor that lacks an intracellular signaling domain and acts as a TGFβ trap, as well as proprietary next generation switch receptors that reconfigure inhibitory TGFβ signaling to be stimulatory. Both approaches lead to protection from TGFβ immunosuppression of CAR-NK cells as well as neighboring immune cells. The approaches we are presenting at ASGCT are part of our innovative switch receptor platform which includes multiple strategies to convert other immunosuppressive signals into beneficial signals that stimulate and enhance the therapeutic activity of NK cells.”

Highlights of the data presented on TGFβ switch receptors for CAR-NK cell therapies are as follows:

Abstract #313: Dominant Negative Receptor for TGFβ

A TGFβ dominant negative receptor (DNR) was shown to protect the function of both the engineered CAR‑NK cells and neighboring NK cells from the immunosuppressive effects of TGFβ.

  • CAR-NK cells engineered with this TGFβ DNR demonstrated reduction of downstream TGFβactivity as shown by >90% reduction of SMAD2 phosphorylation (a downstream signal of TGFβ activity) even at supraphysiological doses of TGFβ.
  • By acting as a sink, the TGFβ DNR also protected neighboring NK cells from immunosuppressive TGFβ signaling, resulting in approximately a 3-fold reduction in potency of TGFβ in inducing SMAD2 phosphorylation.
  • Co-expression of the TGFβ DNR with a HER2-CAR construct restored CAR-dependent cytotoxicity in the presence of TGFβ.

Abstract #331: Next Generation TGFβ Switch Receptors

Building on its success using TGFβ-DNRs to prevent immunosuppression, Catamaran also engineered synthetic receptors that effectively converted TGFβ signals into cell stimulatory signals.

  • A diverse set of switch receptors were engineered with a TGFβ receptor extracellular domain, coupled with various intracellular domains.
  • These proprietary next generation TGFβ switch receptors successfully reversed TGFβ-mediated inhibition, promoted NK cell expansion in vitro, and enhanced NK cell functional responses.
  • Chronic TGFβ stimulation strengthened NK cell tumor killing and target-induced cytokine secretion, and incorporation of the switch receptors also protected the cells from suppressive TGFβ signaling.

The posters will be available on 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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

 

Two posters describe features of Catamaran’s CAR-NK platform designed to overcome the immunosuppressive effects of the solid tumor microenvironment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – May 2, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that the company will present two posters at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting, being held in Washington, DC, on May 16-18, 2022. Catamaran scientists will present data supporting CAR‑NK cell therapy design strategies to neutralize the immunosuppressive effects of the tumor microenvironment, including use of synthetic biology-enabled chimeric switch receptors which convert the inhibitory signal of TGF-β into positive NK cell activation signals.

“We look forward to sharing our progress in engineering CAR-NK cells to confer them with the functional attributes to enable durable efficacy in solid tumors,” said Vipin Suri, PhD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer of Catamaran Bio. “Our presentations at ASGCT describe approaches to mitigate the effects of TGF-β, a highly immunosuppressive cytokine known to reduce the anti-tumor activity of immune cells. We will show data on the activities of multiple TGF-β based synthetic receptors that confer a range of benefits to CAR-NK cells and enhance anti-tumor activity in high TGF-β environments.”

Details of the poster presentations are as follows:

Presentation Title: Engineered allogeneic CAR natural killer cells resist tumor microenvironment immunosuppression by expression of a TGF-βR2 dominant negative receptor
Session Title: Cancer – Immunotherapy, Cancer Vaccines I
Session Date & Time: Monday May 16, 2022, 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hall D
Abstract Number: 313
Poster Board Number: M-194

 Presentation Title: A synthetic biology approach to address the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment: Novel TGF-β switch receptors convert inhibitory signals to enhance NK cell activity
Session Title: Cancer – Immunotherapy, Cancer Vaccines I
Session Date & Time:  Monday May 16, 2022, 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hall D
Abstract Number: 331
Poster Board Number: M-212

The abstracts will be available on the ASGCT conference 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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

Experienced industry clinician brings deep expertise in oncology development including advancement of allogeneic cell therapy to first-in-human trials

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – April 27, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off ‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Cherry Thomas, MD, as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Thomas has broad experience in the clinical development of cell therapies. She initiated a first-in-human clinical trial of an allogeneic cell therapy during her previous role as senior vice president of clinical development at Caribou Biosciences.  Dr. Thomas’ experience in oncology clinical development also includes leadership roles at Array BioPharma/Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Amgen.

“Cherry’s extensive experience in oncology and cell therapy drug development, clinical expertise, and impressive track record make her an ideal fit as we advance our innovative CAR-NK programs,” said Alvin Shih, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio. “We welcome Cherry at a pivotal time in our evolution, as we build the capabilities to become a clinical-stage company.”

“I am excited to bring my clinical development experience with allogeneic cell therapies to a talented Catamaran team that has built a leading-edge platform for CAR-NK cell therapies,” said Dr. Thomas. “I look forward to the opportunity to guide the clinical advancement of the Catamaran’s promising pipeline of allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies, potentially becoming off-the-shelf treatments for patients with solid tumors.”

Dr. Thomas has extensive pharmaceutical and biotech industry experience and expertise in the clinical development of oncology therapeutics including allogeneic cell therapies. Dr. Thomas joins Catamaran from Caribou Biosciences where she served as senior vice president of clinical development. In this role, she initiated and built Caribou’s clinical development program and advanced the company’s first allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy into the clinic. Prior to Caribou, she held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership in U.S. and global clinical development and medical affairs at Array BioPharma/Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Amgen. Dr. Thomas received her MD from the University of California, Irvine, and completed her residency at the University of Michigan in radiation oncology and is a licensed physician and surgeon. She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

 

— 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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

— Appointment of experienced commercial leader brings significant expertise in solid tumor indications targeted by Catamaran’s CAR-NK programs —

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – April 5, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off ‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Frank Lee as Chair of its Board of Directors. Mr. Lee has over 25 years of global experience in biopharmaceutical product development and commercial leadership across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including solid tumor oncology.

“We are pleased to welcome Frank as Chair of our Board,” said Alvin Shih, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio. “Frank has an impressive track record of leadership in biopharmaceutical organizations at growth stages, including new product launches. His extensive experience advancing breakthrough treatments in cancer markets will be invaluable to Catamaran as we advance our pipeline of off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapies to bring a new class of cell therapies to patients.”

“I am honored to serve as Chair of Catamaran’s Board and look forward to working with an impressive team to help advance Catamaran’s allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies toward the clinic,” said Mr. Lee. “This is a very exciting time in the cell therapy field, and I’m eager to share my expertise to support Catamaran’s mission to realize the full potential of CAR-NK cell therapies to provide new treatment options for cancer patients.”

Mr. Lee is Chief Executive Officer of Forma Therapeutics and has more than 25 years of global experience in product development and commercial leadership across a wide range of therapeutic areas. He served as senior vice president, global product strategy, and therapeutic area head for the immunology, ophthalmology, and infectious diseases at Genentech. At Genentech, he also served as vice president of the HER2/Breast Cancer Franchise, which included Herceptin®, Perjeta® and Kadcyla®. As vice president of oral oncolytics, Mr. Lee held P&L responsibility for Tarceva®, Zelboraf®, Erivedge® and Xeloda®. Prior to joining Genentech, he spent approximately thirteen years at Novartis, Janssen and Eli Lilly in various engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing and business development roles. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the Wharton Graduate School of Business. Mr. Lee also serves on the board of directors of Bolt Biotherapeutics Inc.

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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

 

–– Next phase of collaboration to primarily focus on continued advancement of transposon engineering for allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies and optimization of CAR-NK cell manufacturability ––

–– Exclusively licensed patent rights cover next generation cell process technologies for optimizing CAR-NK manufacturability invented during earlier collaboration phase ––

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– March 14, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced an expansion and extension of its research collaboration with Branden Moriarity, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, to further advance the versatility of transposon engineering for arming CAR-NK cell therapies with functional attributes not found in earlier generations of cell therapies.

Catamaran has also secured an exclusive, worldwide license to University of Minnesota patent rights covering next generation cell expansion technologies which do not require the use of feeder cells. These new technologies were invented during the parties’ research collaboration which has been in place since early 2020. Cell expansion technologies which do not rely on the use of feeder cells offer the potential to improve the efficiency and decrease the cost of manufacturing CAR-NK cell therapies.

“This expanded collaboration and license demonstrate our commitment to develop and integrate the most advanced technologies for scalable and robust manufacturing of our allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies,” said Alvin Shih, MD, Chief Executive Officer at Catamaran Bio. “We will continue to innovate in the areas of cell engineering and processing to keep Catamaran on the leading edge of CAR-NK cell therapy manufacturing and to allow us to rapidly advance the most effective cell therapies for cancer patients.”

In the new phase of the collaboration, research teams from the University of Minnesota and Catamaran will further optimize the TcBusterTM transposon system, a next generation nonviral genetic modification system which has been integrated into Catamaran’s TAILWINDTM platform. TcBuster was engineered for use in human immune cells by a team led by Dr. Branden Moriarity, Catamaran’s scientific co-founder and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology, the University of Minnesota. Catamaran licensed the TcBuster transposon system from Bio-Techne Corporation.

“In contrast to viral engineering methods commonly used today to make cell therapies, transposon genetic modification systems offer greater versatility because they can carry larger and more complex genetic payloads and they allow for multiplex gene editing in one step,” said Joseph Gold, PhD, Vice President, Technical Operations and Manufacturing at Catamaran Bio. “With our extended collaboration with Dr. Moriarity’s lab, we will further expand the boundaries of what is possible with transposon engineering to ensure that we are able to develop CAR-NK cell therapies with all of the desired functional attributes to optimize effectiveness against solid tumors.”

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.

TcBuster™ is a trademark of Bio-Techne Corporation.

 

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – March 9, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off ‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that the company will present preclinical efficacy data for its CAT-179 program, an allogeneic solid tumor CAR-NK cell therapy, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2022, being held in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 8-13, 2022. CAT-179 is an allogeneic, cryopreserved HER2-targeted CAR-NK cell therapy engineered using Catamaran’s TAILWIND platform.

Details of the poster presentation are as follows:

Presentation Title: Allogeneic natural killer cells engineered to express HER2 CAR, interleukin 15 and TGF beta dominant negative receptor effectively control HER2+ tumors

Session Title: Adoptive Cell Therapy 1

Session Date & Time: Sunday, April 10, 2022, from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. CT

Location: New Orleans Convention Center, Exhibit Halls D-H, Poster Section 36

Abstract Number: 555

The abstract is now available on the AACR conference 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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – February 28, 2022 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Michael DeRidder, PhD, as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and New Product Planning. Dr. DeRidder brings extensive experience leading product planning and portfolio strategy in the cell therapy and immuno-oncology areas, most recently as Vice President, Medicine Commercialization Leader for Cell and Gene Therapies at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

“We are excited to welcome Mike to our leadership team. His proven track record of applying strategic and commercial insights to the development of cell therapies will be invaluable as we continue to build Catamaran’s CAR-NK cell therapy product pipeline,” said Alvin Shih, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio.

“I look forward to guiding the company’s portfolio strategy and integrating commercial considerations into our broader product development approach,” said Dr. DeRidder. “This is an extremely exciting time to join Catamaran, as we advance two allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies to the clinic with the potential to effectively treat solid tumors.”

In Dr. DeRidder’s previous role at GSK, he was responsible for planning the global launch strategy for letetresgene autoleucel (lete-cel), an engineered T cell therapy currently in pivotal clinical development. He also played a leadership role in the operational design and implementation of GSK’s cell therapy capabilities and the cell therapy portfolio strategy. In addition, he played a leading role in the company’s $5 billion acquisition of Tesaro in 2019 and the in-licensing of the NY-ESO-1 TCR program from Adaptimmune.  Prior to this, he held positions of increasing responsibility at GSK in New Product Planning and Business Development across a range of disease areas. Dr. DeRidder holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a BSE in Bioengineering from Tulane University.

 

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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

– Data validate novel single-step NK-cell engineering using non-viral transposon system for CAR delivery in combination with gene editing –

– Engineered CAR-NK cells demonstrate cytotoxicity against multiple tumor cell lines –

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – December 13, 2021 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off‑the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced preclinical data that demonstrate key capabilities of its TAILWINDTM platform being applied to develop CAT-248, an allogeneic CD70‑targeted CAR-NK cell therapy. The data demonstrate successful engineering of a CD70 CAR‑NK cell therapy that achieves cytotoxicity in vitro against various tumor cell lines. Using the integrated engineering and manufacturing capabilities of the TAILWIND platform, the data also show highly efficient non-viral delivery of a CAR targeting CD70 and knock out of endogenous CD70 in a single engineering step.

The data support advancement of CAT-248, Catamaran’s co-lead CAR-NK cell therapy candidate, which is directed against CD70, a tumor antigen that is highly expressed on certain types of cancers including renal cell carcinoma, glioma, pancreatic cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia. The results were presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) being held in Atlanta from December 11‑14, 2021.

“CD70 is a compelling target in several high unmet need solid tumors and hematologic malignancies and we are excited to support the advancement of CAT-248 as an effective therapy for CD70 expressing cancers,” said Alvin Shih, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio. “These data further establish our TAILWIND platform as an industry-leading, highly versatile and scalable manufacturing platform for CAR‑NK cell therapies, including complex products with multiple genome modifications.”

“Our ASH data demonstrate cutting-edge capabilities that are essential for both tumor-targeting design as well as scalable manufacturing of CAR-NK cell therapies,” said Vipin Suri, PhD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer of Catamaran Bio. “Notably, we have now demonstrated a novel single-step engineering approach for simultaneously using a non-viral transposon system for CAR delivery in combination with CRISPR editing for gene knockout. Using our TAILWIND platform, we effectively integrate all the necessary properties to position our CAR-NK cells as allogeneic, off-the-shelf therapies for multiple cancers, especially solid tumors.”

Data presented in a poster titled, “Engineering CD70-Directed CAR-NK Cells for the Treatment of Hematological and Solid Malignancies,” describe experiments showing key capabilities of the TAILWINDTM platform and characterization of the CD70-targeted CAR-NK cells. Highlights from the poster include:

  • CD70 was expressed across hematological and solid tumor malignancies but upregulated in activated peripheral blood NK cells.
  • Single-step, non-viral CAR delivery using the TcBusterTM Transposon System and CRISPR/Cas9 editing of NK cells resulted in more than 70% integration/expression of CD70 CAR and more than 80% knockout of endogenous CD70.
  • Activation of peripheral blood NK cells strongly upregulated CD70 expression, resulting in fratricide upon expression of CD70 directed CAR in these cells.
  • Knockout of endogenous CD70 enabled effective expansion of CD70 CAR-NK cells while maintaining innate cytotoxicity.
  • CAR-NK cells engineered with CD70 CAR and CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of endogenous CD70 were active against multiple CD70‑positive tumor lines.

The studies presented at ASH are co-authored by Catamaran and its collaborators at the University of Minnesota. The poster presentation is available on Catamaran’s 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.

Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – November 15, 2021 – Catamaran Bio, Inc., a biotechnology company developing off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Tara Place, MBA, as Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness. Ms. Place brings more than 20 years of experience as a global human resources leader with broad experience and proven expertise in building cultures that attract, retain and develop world class talent. At Catamaran, she will be responsible for all aspects of human resources, building organizational strategies and talent management, and will be a key contributor to the company’s plans for growth.

“Tara is a great addition to our leadership team, and her strategic perspective and extensive HR background will be instrumental in supporting Catamaran’s growth,” said Alvin Shih, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio. “With the rapid progress we have made on our early pipeline of CAR-NK cell therapies, our company is poised for rapid expansion, and I look forward to working with Tara to continue to build our company’s leadership position in the cell therapy space.”

“It is an extremely exciting time to join Catamaran, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the company’s evolution and growth,” said Ms. Place. “Catamaran has a groundbreaking technology platform and differentiated pipeline programs, and I am delighted to be part of building a high-performing team to bring these new and innovative CAR-NK cell therapies to cancer patients.”

Prior to joining Catamaran, Ms. Place led human resources at Chiasma, Inc., where she oversaw all organizational development and HR initiatives, including talent acquisition, leadership development, and employee retention strategies, as the company transitioned to a commercial biotech organization. During her tenure with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Biogen, she held leadership roles in many aspects of human resources, including talent acquisition, learning and development, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion. Tara holds a BA in Psychology from Boston University and an MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management.

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 @CatamaranBioon Twitter.

 Catamaran contact:
Mark Boshar, Chief Operating Officer
617-620-9709
mark@catamaranbio.com

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
914-204-6412
kathryn@theyatesnetwork.com