BALTIMORE and PHILADELPHIA and PORTLAND, Oregon, Feb. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WindMIL Therapeutics (WindMIL) and Providence Cancer Institute (Providence) today announced that the first patient has been identified in an investigator-sponsored study for the collection of bone marrow from patients with breast cancer. The study will evaluate generating marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for patients through WindMIL’s proprietary cellular activation and expansion process. The study is being conducted at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute, in Portland, OR.
“We’re excited to work with WindMIL to explore MILs’ potential to treat patients with breast cancer,” said David Page, MD, Providence Medical Oncologist and Assistant Member, Breast Cancer Immunotherapy. “Investigating new treatment options for our patients continues to build hope for safer, more effective pathways to address this disease.”
There were an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer among U.S. women in 2019. An estimated 41,760 U.S. women died of breast cancer last year. Adoptive immunotherapy is a promising approach for breast cancer 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 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.
“Our collaboration with Providence represents an important next step in our plans to evaluate the efficacy of MILs for the treatment of patients with breast cancer and solid tumors beyond NSCLC,” said Monil Shah, PharmD, MBA, Chief Development Officer at WindMIL. “We look forward to learning more about MILs’ potential as a therapy for breast cancer and ultimately other solid tumors as well.”
About Marrow-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (MILs™)
Marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) are developed through a proprietary process to activate and expand memory T cells found in the bone marrow into MILs. Distinguishing features of bone marrow T cells include their memory phenotype, inherent tumor antigen-specificity, higher CD8:CD4 ratio and ability to persist long term when compared to peripheral blood lymphocytes. 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 directly eradicate or facilitate eradication of each patient’s unique cancer. MILs are being investigated in clinical studies as ‘non gene-modified’ therapeutics and are under development as an alternative and potentially superior cell source to peripheral blood T cells for CAR-T therapy (CAR-MILs™). WindMIL believes that the unique aspects of the respective profiles of MILs and CAR-MILs position them in distinct areas of the oncology treatment landscape. WindMIL is currently studying the use of MILs to treat patients with multiple myeloma, non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and glioblastoma, and plans to expand into other solid tumors. To date, more than 100 patients have received treatment with MILs and ongoing studies continue to build upon the favorable safety profile and promising efficacy seen in early development.
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 bone marrow-derived T cell therapies, WindMIL translates novel insights in bone marrow immunology into life-saving cancer immunotherapeutics for patients. The company’s proprietary process to 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.
About Providence Cancer Institute
Providence Cancer Institute, a part of Providence St. Joseph Health, offers the latest in cancer services, including diagnostic, treatment, prevention, education, support and internationally renowned research. Providence Cancer Institute is home to the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a world-class research facility located within the Robert W. Franz Cancer Center in Portland, Oregon, and is a recognized leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy since 1993. Visit providenceoregon.org/cancer to learn more.
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Providence Cancer Institute Media Contact:
Jean Powell Marks