Technology ID

Tiered Screening of Therapeutic TCRs for Identification of Autoimmune Cross-Reactivity

Lead Inventor
Ishii, Kazusa (National Cancer Institute (NCI))
Hinrichs, Christian (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Davies, John (National Cancer Institute (NCI))
Research Materials
Therapeutic Areas
Development Stages
Pre-clinical (in vivo)
Lead IC


The National Cancer Institute seeks research co-development partners and/or licensees for a standardized method of detecting T-cell receptor (TCR) cross-reactivity as a means of proving safety and efficacy in preclinical evaluations ahead of clinical trials. 

Description of Technology: 

TCR-based therapies targeting cancer-associated antigens have proven to be a promising immunotherapeutic modality for cancers – including advanced or relapsed/refractory diseases incurable with conventional treatments. A major safety issue regarding this form of therapy is TCR cross-reactivity against self antigen-derived peptides presented on major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which can result in cytotoxic damage to healthy tissues. TCR cross reactivity has been studied in depth, however there are currently no standardized methods to efficiently detect clinically prohibitive cross reactivity of therapeutic TCR candidates in the context of pre-clinical safety evaluation.

Inventors at the NCI developed a systematic strategy to detect cross reactivity comprising a series of specified assays and peptide libraries generated in silico. Implementing a standardized cross-reactivity screening process is expected to minimize cytotoxic risks for patients during clinical trials and ease the regulatory approval process for TCR-directed therapies – resulting in broader access. 

The Center for Immuno-Oncology is seeking research co-development partners and/or licensees for this TCR cross-reactivity screening method for preclinical evaluations. 

Potential Commercial Applications:

  • Oncology
  • Pre-clinical safety screening package for targeted epitope sequences using assay combinations
  • IND-enabling studies and other preclinical applications

Competitive Advantages:

  • Additional in silico screening to test for cross-reactive peptides that may not share the same TCR recognition motif sequences 
  • A standardized screening method to standardize safety factors in clinical trials