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.
As we have developed a methodology for labelling and screening whole CAR T cells, our technology is now widely used for assessing both the finalised engineered cells as well as the precursor antibody/scFv.
Retrogenix is now a standard part of non-clinical safety assessment for developers of novel CAR T cell therapies. Specificity screening data were included in the BLA submissions for Novartis’ Kymriah in the US and EU.
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 (or the final scFv) to provide a more relevant assessment of off-target liability. As there may be a discordance between the original antibody/scFv and the final engineered T cell it is possible to screen both to ensure that the binding has not been altered in development.
If you are interested in discussing our CAR T screening capabilities then please get in touch and we can arrange a presentation for your team.