Why Astellas And Adaptimmune Are Partnering On STEM-Cell Therapies – Clinical Leader

Ed Miseta

By Ed Miseta, Chief Editor, Clinical Leader
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Lab Worker Trial Design

One of the greatest hurdles an immune system faces when fighting cancer is that it can’t see the tumors. Because cancer cells look a lot like a person’s own cells, it is difficult for the immune system to recognize tumors as something it should attack. 

Adaptimmune is attempting to overcome this hurdle with its SPEAR (Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor) T-cell platform. The platform works to engineer a patient’s own T-cells to be able to identify cancer. After a patient’s own T-cells are armed with Adaptimmune’s engineered receptors, these enhanced T-cells can then target and destroy cancer cells across multiple types of solid tumors.

“We are now able to design the receptor on the surface of the T-cells that is meant to recognize and see the cancer,” says Adrian Rawcliffe, CEO of Adaptimmune. “When our SPEAR T-cells recognize the cancer as something “foreign”, the T-cells can attack the tumor in the same way your body attacks a cell that is infected with a virus.”

Adaptimmune removes some of