BALTIMORE and PHILADELPHIA and ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WindMIL Therapeutics (WindMIL) and the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center today announced that the first patients have been identified in an investigator-sponsored study for the collection of bone marrow from patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The study will evaluate the feasibility of generating marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for these patients through WindMIL’s proprietary cellular activation and expansion process. The study is being conducted at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Current treatment options for metastatic head and neck cancer are limited and there is a great need for potential new options for these patients. Immunotherapy, especially harnessing a patient’s own immune system, offers an exciting new tool in our armamentarium to combat this relentless disease,” said Paul Swiecicki, M.D., assistant professor Hematology/Oncology at Michigan Medicine.

HNSCC is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and a significant number of patients develop incurable metastatic disease. Adoptive immunotherapy is a promising approach for HNSCC and the use of MILs, a cell therapy that is naturally tumor-specific, is one such treatment option.

The bone marrow is a unique niche in the immune system to which antigen-experienced memory T cells traffic and are then maintained. WindMIL has developed a proprietary process to select, activate and expand these memory T cells into MILs. Because memory T cells in bone marrow occur as a result of the immune system’s recognition of tumor antigens, MILs are specifically suited for adoptive cellular immunotherapy and are able to directly eradicate or facilitate eradication of each patient’s unique cancer. WindMIL is currently studying MILs in multiple myeloma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma and plans to expand into other solid tumors beyond NSCLC.

“We believe there is a strong mechanistic and clinical rationale for studying MILs in the treatment of HNSCC,” said Monil Shah, chief development officer at WindMIL. “We look forward to working with the University of Michigan and its patients to learn more about MILs’ potential to help patients fight HNSCC and other cancers.”

About WindMIL Therapeutics
WindMIL Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing a novel class of autologous cell therapies based on marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for cancer immunotherapy. As the leader in cellular therapeutics emanating from bone marrow, WindMIL translates novel insights in bone marrow immunology into potentially life-saving cancer immunotherapeutics for patients. WindMIL believes that Cell Source Matters™ and the company’s proprietary process to extract, activate and expand these cells offers unique immunotherapeutic advantages, including inherent poly-antigen specificity, high cytotoxic potential, and long persistence. For more information, please visit: https://windmiltherapeutics.com.

About the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center is committed to improving the health and well-being of people who have – or are at risk of getting – cancer. As a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, our more than 500 members work to prevent cancer, improve outcomes for those diagnosed, and improve quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. Our 17 multidisciplinary cancer clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists who develop personalized treatment plans for each patient. Learn more at rogelcancercenter.org or call the Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.

WindMIL Therapeutics Media Contact:
Tony Plohoros
6 Degrees
(908) 591-2839
tplohoros@6degreespr.com

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center Media Contact:
Nicole Fawcett
(734) 764-2220
nfawcett@umich.edu