HaemaLogiX signs research agreement with local health institutions

Thursday, 27 July, 2017

HaemaLogiX, an Australian immuno-oncology company, has signed an agreement with local health and research institutions for commercialisation rights to an immuno-oncology agent designed to specifically target malignant cancer cells present in the bone marrow of multiple myeloma patients.

The research institutions involved in the deal include Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Western Sydney Local Health District, Children’s Medical Research Institute and the University of Sydney.

“This technology is similar to very promising agents referred to CAR T-cell (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapies developed by other companies to treat nonmyeloma blood cancers that have generated recent publicity,” said Bryce Carmine, chairman and CEO of HaemaLogiX.

The commercialisation rights were assigned after Westmead Institute for Medical Research and staff of the University of Sydney within the Western Sydney Local Health District conducted research to adapt the HaemaLogiX core antibody for use as a CAR T-cell. This research is being funded by a Cancer Council NSW Project Grant. The HaemaLogiX antibody has previously been tested in patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma, and further clinical trials are ongoing.

HaemaLogiX, in association with the Westmead research team, is preparing to test the novel CAR T-cell therapy in myeloma patients commencing in 2018. “If the clinical trial proves successful, this agent may provide an additional option for patients with drug-resistant myeloma,” said Dr David Gottlieb, professor of haematology at the University of Sydney and senior physician on the Westmead Hospital Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit.

“Agents similar to this have been described by the US National Cancer Institute as a ‘living drug’ because they co-opt the patient’s own immune cells to fight the cancer. Remarkable clinical results have been achieved in forms of leukaemia and lymphoma in patients who had exhausted all treatment options.”

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