Technology Bundle ID

Reprogrammed Tumor Infiltrated Lymphocytes for Efficient Identification of Tumor-Antigen Specific T-Cell Receptors

Meghan Good (NCI)
Naritaka Tamaoki (NCI)
Nicholas Restifo (NCI)
Rafiqul Islam (NCI)
Raul Vizcardo (NCI)
Development Status
Discovery (Lead Identification)

Adoptive T Cell Therapy (ACT) is a form of cancer immunotherapy. It consists of harvesting Tumor Infiltrated Lymphocytes (TIL), screening for TIL which display tumor antigen-specific T-cell receptors (TCR), expanding these in vitro, and reinfusing into the patient for treatment. While ACT has proven effective in treating various cancer types, it is a laborious procedure as the harvested TIL population has generally limited expansion and a finite lifespan.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surgery Branch improved identification and isolation of the tumor antigen-specific TCR by reprogramming TIL into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). As these TIL-iPSC can expand indefinitely but still retain the ability to differentiate into any cell type and the ability to encode TCRs, this method addresses previous limitations. Further, the expressed TCRs show a high affinity to their targets and can be used in ACT.   

NCI is seeking proposals from parties interested in licensing opportunities regarding this improved method to identify antigen-specific TCRs by reprogramming a bulk population of TIL.

Commercial Applications
  • Technology could increase the clinical benefit of T-cell therapies beyond Tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) for the treatment of several forms of leukemia and lymphoma and axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) was for the treatment of several types of relapsed or refractory large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs), including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
  • Identification of tumor specific TCRs for ACT
  • Identification of viral or bacterial antigen specific TCRs to treat infections
  • Identification of endogenous TCRs causing autoimmunity in patients
  • This method may be adapted to other immune cells and receptors, such as B cells, for therapy or antibody production purposes
Competitive Advantages
  • Clinically significant expansion of reprogrammed TIL increasing efficiency of antigen-specific TCR identification
  • Clinically significant expansion technology has the potential for higher dosing and more treatments per collection
  • Potentially greater efficacy, as TCRs obtained using this technology retain polyclonality and display high affinity to their targets

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