BALTIMORE and PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WindMIL Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company developing marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for cancer immunotherapy, will present new data in a poster presentation on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), demonstrating that chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered MILs (CAR-MILs™) are more polyfunctional and produce higher levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines associated with antitumor activity than CAR-T cells engineered using patient-matched peripheral blood lymphocytes (CAR-PBLs).

“Based on these data and the inherent antitumor properties of MILs, we believe CAR-MILs could be more potent and effective than currently approved CAR-T products derived from peripheral blood lymphocytes,” said Eric Lutz, Ph.D., director of research at WindMIL Therapeutics.

In the study, scientists measured the expression of 32 cytokines and chemokines in CD4 and CD8 T cells from CAR-MILs and their matched CAR-PBL counterparts following B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-specific stimulation. Both CD4 and CD8 T cells from CAR-MILs demonstrated higher antigen-specific increases in polyfunctionality (secretion of 2+ cytokines per cell) and polyfunctional strength index (PSI) compared to T cells from CAR-PBLs, indicating that CAR-MILs may elicit a more powerful, coordinated immune response against targeted cancer cells.

WindMIL is developing both unmodified and gene-modified forms of MILs. Unmodified MILs have already been shown to have a favorable safety profile and completed Phase 1 studies show promising efficacy with response correlated to MILs activity. The company is awaiting Phase 2 data in the use of MILs to treat high-risk multiple myeloma and has initiated a Phase 2 study in the use of MILs to treat non-small cell lung cancer. CAR-MILs represent WindMIL’s initial efforts in developing gene-modified MILs.

Don Hayden, chairman and chief executive officer of WindMIL, said, “This research builds on our momentum in advancing gene-modified MILs toward the clinic while further supporting our foundation of work to develop MILs as a novel class of autologous cell therapies for cancer immunotherapy. We believe CAR-MILs will become an important treatment option for cancer patients and a complementary approach to treatment with unmodified MILs where the company is already engaged in building a robust clinical data set in multiple tumor types, both solid and hematologic.”

Details of the poster presentation are as follows:

Title: CART-engineered Marrow-infiltrating Lymphocytes (MILs™) are more polyfunctional than their matched peripheral blood counterparts
Abstract ID: P200
Date and Time: Saturday, November 9, 8 a.m. ET
Location: Poster Hall (Prince George AB)
Presenter: Eric Lutz, Ph.D., Director of Research, WindMIL Therapeutics

A copy of the abstract can be viewed online through the SITC website.

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: https://windmiltx.com.

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