NEW YORK – Inceptor Bio, a cell and gene therapy biotechnology firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina, said on Wednesday that it has launched a new portfolio company, called FastBack Bio, which will focus on developing CAR T-cell therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers.
FastBack will specifically use its M-STIM platform to develop CAR T-cell therapies with co-stimulatory domains to modulate T-cell responses. Preclinical research suggests that CAR T cells with the M-STIM co-stimulatory domain M83 may be superior to CD28- or 4-1BB-based CAR T cells when treating solid tumors.
The difference, according to Inceptor Bio, lies in the domain's ability to provide CAR T cells with differentiated expansion kinetics and a mix of effector memory and central memory phenotypes. In vitro data also suggested the cells had certain advantages, such as resistance to exhaustion and enhanced metabolism, which could be beneficial in the tumor microenvironment.
FastBack will initially focus on developing autologous CAR T-cell therapies, but the firm is considering technologies that may allow it to develop allogeneic treatments as well.
The technology to be used by FastBack originated in the lab of Lishan Su at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and according to the firm, Su will remain involved in the new company as an adviser. "FastBack Bio will have access to world-class facilities and a team with an exceptional track record that will allow us to accelerate the development of T cell-based therapeutics with our novel co-stimulatory domain," Su, who also is head of the Maryland Institute of Human Virology, said in a statement.