Specificity screening of CAR T cells

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy involves engineering the patient’s own immune cells to recognise and attack a specific tumour. It has shown long-term promise in patients with advanced disease. As the therapy works by harnessing the immune system it is crucial that there is no off-target activity that could promote an inappropriate immune response and be very dangerous for the patient.

Retrogenix’s standard approach for specificity screening of CAR T cells initially focused solely on the single chain variable fragment (scFv) that will ultimately be engineered onto the T cells. However, we have now also developed a methodology for labelling and screening the whole CAR T cells themselves. This can provide even greater confidence in the specificity of the therapy. It also provides further support for IND submissions.

 

Screen scFvs or whole CAR T cells

Retrogenix has two approaches for off-target screening of CAR T cells:

  • Screen the antigen recognition element – the scFv
  • Screen whole engineered CAR T cells

Early specificity screening helps select the right scFvs in order to maximise the chances of producing the most promising potential CAR T therapy. This can be followed later by screening of the whole engineered T cell to provide a more physiological assessment of off-target liability.

CAR T cell specificity screen for safety assessment of novel immunotherapies

Download our poster describing the how the Retrogenix human cell microarray technology has been optimised to screen whole CAR T cells for specific interactions, helping reduce the risk of unanticipated off-target adverse effects in the development of novel immunotherapies.

Download poster

FAQ: “How long does a screen take?”

Projects typically take around 8 weeks from when we receive materials through to delivering the results and data package. A single molecule screen using a routine detection system can take as little as 6 weeks. Longer lead times (for example 12 weeks) may be required for some studies including projects where a new detection method is being used as this will need to be optimised with the Retrogenix technology.

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Pfizer
The University of Sheffield
Aveo Oncology - The Human Response
Theraclone Sciences
BioInvent
AstraZeneca
Bluebird Bio
The Center for Infectious Disease Research
Compugen Logo
The University of Copenhagen
Lund University
MedImmune
NIH - National Institutes of Health
The University of Pennsylvania
Scripps Florida - The Scripps Research Institute
Peptinnovate Ltd - Unlocking Nature's Potential
Retrogenix helped us to crack a very challenging problem, the result of which has significantly advanced our research. A collaborative approach, alongside an in-depth scientific and technical knowledge of their technology turned an unsuccessful initial screen into an extremely successful secondary screen. We have already committed to further studies.
Dr. Nicky Cooper, CSO, Peptinnovate