WindMIL Therapeutics Announces Preclinical Data Demonstrating Marrow-Infiltrating Lymphocytes’ Potential as CAR-Modified T Cell Therapy Platform

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

BALTIMORE, Dec. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WindMIL Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company developing marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for cancer immunotherapy, yesterday announced preclinical data demonstrating that creating CAR T cells from a MIL resulted in superior antigen-specific killing compared to making them from peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs). The preclinical data also show that MILs retain their inherent tumor antigen-specificity and capacity to respond through their endogenous tumor antigen-specific T cell receptors. The data were presented yesterday during a poster presentation at the 60th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. 

Utilizing a proprietary process, preclinical study researchers activated, expanded and transduced MILs and PBLs from patient bone marrow and blood samples, and used both flow cytometry- and ACEA-based cytotoxicity assays to measure CAR38-mediated antigen-specific killing. In the primary challenge, they found higher killing by MIL CARs compared to matched PBL CARs in 13 out of 16 pairs. During the re-challenge, researchers found higher killing by MIL CARs in nine out of 12 pairs.

The study also demonstrated that the native T cell receptor remains functional in a MIL CAR even after CAR engagement. Given the inherent tumor specificity present in MILs, this raises the possibility that MIL CARs may be more able than PBL CARs to maintain efficacy even after loss of the antigen that the CAR targets. WindMIL is currently evaluating MILs expressing B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)- and prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-specific CARs and is developing murine models to demonstrate in vivo efficacy.

“These preclinical data show that MILs can be effectively transduced with CARs, demonstrate superior killing compared to PBL CARs over repeated challenges and retain their inherent tumor-specificity post-transduction,” said Brian Halak, PhD, President and CEO of WindMIL Therapeutics. “We are excited about MILs’ potential as a CAR-modified T cell therapy platform that could boost initial response rates and reduce the risk of relapse from CAR antigen loss. We look forward to learning more about MILs’ promise as a CAR T platform as we continue to build a strong dataset.”

About Marrow Infiltrating Lymphocytes (MILs™)
Marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) are a population of polyclonal T cells derived from the bone marrow that are enriched with memory T cells and contain tumor antigen-specific T cells that are typically not detected in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs). Their distinguishing features include their memory phenotype, inherent tumor antigen-specificity and ability to persist long-term. MILs are being developed for several tumor types, including both hematological and solid tumors.

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 life-saving cancer immunotherapeutics for patients. The company’s proprietary process to extract, activate and expand these cells offers unique immunotherapeutic advantages, including inherent tumor-specificity, high cytotoxic potential, and long persistence. For more information, please visit:

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