CAR T Cell Therapy is emerging as a powerful immunotherapy in liquid tumors, showing striking responses in highly refractory patients who failed all other therapy. Complete remission (CR) rates as high as 90% have been reported in children and adults with relapsed and refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia treated with CAR T cells targeting the B cell specific antigen CD19. Clinical trials in solid tumors targeting CD19 and some other antigens were not as successful. Aurora’s genetically engineered CAR T cells can recognize high expressions of antigen found on cancer cells but not normal cells, demonstrated effectiveness in animals and humans in numerous cancers.
Aurora is developing genetic approaches to reprogram T cells with Bi-Specific CAR T Cells that target main and co-stimulatory solid tumor associated antigens present on a broad range of solid tumor cancers, starting with Brain tumors, Sarcomas, and Breast cancers. Our approach relies on isolating T cells from cancer patients, growing them in the laboratory and genetically modifying them with specific CARs, that are infused back into patients and ‘seek out’ tumor cells and destroy them. Part of the CAR protein (an antibody-like domain) protrudes outside of each T-cell and directly binds to its target protein on a cancer cell. CAR T cells are T-cells that have been modified to have man-made receptors at the surface of immune cells, to enable them to recognize a desired protein (antigen) and trigger the killing of cells harboring this antigen at their surface. Upon cell-to-cell contact between effector and targeted cells, antigen recognition will activate the effectors, giving them the signal to attack their targets, and leading to the killing of cancer
The patient has a simple blood draw (no leukopheresis required), the whole blood is shipped under dry ice to our manufacturing facility, T cells are extracted, genetically reengineered to express Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) on the T cell surface, expanded to a near billion cells, re-infused back to the patient to hunt and destroy cancer cells. Our CAR T cell technology, based on our retroviral vector technology, is designed with the intent to deliver potent T cells that can kill cancer cells. Preclinical animal studies with different cancers, showed AU101 and AU105 killed tumors in various cancers in around two weeks.