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Turnstone Bio, University of Montreal Collaborate to Advance TIL Therapies for Solid Tumors

NEW YORK – Turnstone Biologics and the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center on Monday began a research collaboration to develop next-generation tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapies.

The collaborators aim to identify genomic alterations and tumor-specific antigens in different tumor types that can improve selection and expansion of Turnstone's tumor-reactive TILs. Turnstone and the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center may even test their findings in clinical trials.

The research program will be led by Simon Turcotte, who is in charge of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center's adoptive T-cell cancer immunotherapy program.

"Considering all the different types of T-cell-based immunotherapies being studied to treat advanced solid cancers, TILs have shown the best potential for efficacy to date," Turcotte said in a statement. "This collaboration between [University of Montreal Hospital Research Center] and Turnstone Biologics, the first of its kind in Canada, engages us on the exciting path of developing next-generation TILs aimed at better recognizing cancer cells."

New York-based Turnstone has three preclinical TIL therapies in development. The company hopes to extend the benefit of TIL therapies to solid tumors by selecting and manufacturing the most potent tumor-reactive T-cells for these tumor types.

Last year, Turnstone acquired Myst Therapeutics and its pipeline of TIL therapies for solid tumors. In November, the company also partnered with Moffitt Cancer Center to advance preclinical development of these therapies and prepare an investigational new drug application submission for its lead TIL candidate TIDAL-01.