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Chemical works

CAR-T Genetic Cell Therapy

CAR-T R&D

One major obstacle to the successful application of CAR T cells to all cancers is the difficulty of finding target molecules that are expressed only in tumor cells and not in normal tissues.

Moreover, unless all tumor cells express the target molecule, cancer will not be cured as the escaped cancer cells will eventually metastasize.

One of our main focuses is CAR-T cell therapy, which targets and destroys only tumor cells, with fewer side effects. The objective is to find novel methods to completely eliminate disseminated cancer cells by modifying immune cells other than T cells to express CARs for antigens specific to those cells.

Additional challenges exist with solid tumors, including poor infiltration of the tumor by CAR-T cells and the intrinsic resistance of certain tumors to T cell death. We are actively researching the mechanism by which this phenomenon occurs and how to overcome it.

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Fesnak AD, et al. Engineered T cells: the promise and challenges of cancer immunotherapy. Nat Rev Cancer. 2016.

CAR-T Development

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1st Generation: CD3ζ

Generation 2: CD3ζ + 1 Co-stimulatory Domain

3rd Generation: CD3ζ + 2 Co-stimulatory Domains

Generation 4: CD3ζ + 2 Co-stimulatory Domains + Inducible Domain

In order to enhance the anticancer activity of CAR-T cells, co-stimulatory factors were added to develop up to the 4th generation CAR-T.

CAR-T Therapy work flow

There are several steps in the manufacture of genetically recombined CAR-T cells and injection into cancer patients.  

1. T cells are extracted from the patient's blood through Leukapheresis.

2. Using a viral vector, DNA designed as a cancer cell-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is injected into T cells (CAR transduction) and the cells are expanded (Expansion)

 

3. Finally, CAR-T cells are injected back into the patient.

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