Sana Biotechnology Presents Preclinical Data at American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021
– Targeted in vivo gene delivery of a CAR using a CD8-specific fusogen
results in tumor eradication –
– Hypoimmune CAR T cells protected from innate and adaptive immune cell recognition and result in tumor eradication –
SEATTLE, April 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sana Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ: SANA), a company focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines, today announced data from its T cell programs are being presented at the virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.
Sana is investing in multiple platform technologies to engineer cells, and several of these have the potential to address unmet needs for patients with cancer. Two of these platforms are highlighted in posters to be presented at AACR. Sana’s fusogen platform has the potential to deliver genetic payloads to specific cells in vivo, or inside a patient’s body, including delivery to T cells of the gene needed to make a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Sana’s hypoimmune platform has the potential to enable transplants of allogeneic cells without immunosuppression, including allogeneic CAR T cells.
“We are excited to share data for the first time at AACR, as we are optimistic that Sana’s platforms can be applied to help cancer patients,” said Steve Harr, MD, Sana’s President and CEO. “CAR T cells have shown enormous potential for certain cancer patients, and Sana’s goal is to make better and more accessible CAR T therapies so that more patients can benefit.”
“The data presented in these abstracts highlight the potential of our fusogen and hypoimmune platforms to make high quality, functional CAR T cells without the logistical complexities of autologous CAR T cell therapies,” said Terry Fry, MD, Sana’s Head of T Cell Therapeutics. “The goal of our CD8-targeted fusogen program is to deliver the CAR gene directly to the T cell in vivo, and our data highlight the potential of these genetically modified CAR T cells to kill tumors. Separately, we modify gene expression in donor T cells to create hypoimmune allogeneic CAR T cells, and data highlight the potential of these cells to evade both the innate and adaptive immune systems while retaining anti-tumor effects. These results represent important progress in validating Sana’s platforms as we continue towards the clinic.”
Data from two late-breaker abstracts were made available to the AACR community today and are outlined below. The full posters will be available to conference participants online beginning Saturday, April 10 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
In vivo CAR T therapy: targeted in vivo gene delivery of a CAR using a CD8-specific fusogen results in tumor eradication
Authors: Terry Fry, MD et al.
Key takeaways include:
- A single intravenous delivery of a CD8 fusogen containing a second-generation CD19 CAR transgene resulted in the generation of CD8 CAR Ts that eradicated the CD19+ tumor xenografts;
- CD8 fusogen delivery resulted in a high percentage of T cells engineered to express the CAR with specificity for the CD8+ cells; and
- The fusogen was able to generate a functional CAR response regardless of prior activation status of the T cells.
Overexpression of CD47 protects hypoimmune CAR T cells from innate immune cell killing
Authors: Sonja Schrepfer, MD, PhD et al.
Key takeaways include:
- Innate immune cell assays show that CD47 overexpression protects HLA-I/II deficient CAR T cells from natural killer cell and macrophage killing both in vitro and in vivo;
- Hypoimmunogenic CAR T cells have shown the ability to functionally evade the innate and adaptive immune system in allogeneic recipients with cytotoxic anti-tumor capacity; and
- Hypoimmune CAR T cells have the potential to provide universal CAR T cells that are able to persist without immunosuppression.
About Sana Biotechnology
Sana Biotechnology, Inc. is focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines for patients. We share a vision of repairing and controlling genes, replacing missing or damaged cells, and making our therapies broadly available to patients. We are more than 250 people working together to create an enduring company that changes how the world treats disease. Sana has operations in Seattle, Cambridge, and South San Francisco. For more information about Sana Biotechnology, please visit https://sana.com/.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about Sana Biotechnology, Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including those related to Sana’s mission and progress, the ability to make CAR T cells, the ability to address unmet needs for patients with cancer, and presentations at AACR. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release, including, among others, statements regarding the Company’s strategy, expectations, cash runway and future financial condition, future operations, and prospects, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “assume,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “design,” “due,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “objective,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “predict,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and other similar expressions that are predictions of or indicate future events and future trends, or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. The Company has based these forward-looking statements largely on its current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about future events and financial trends that it believes may affect its financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to vary materially, including, among others, the risks inherent in drug development such as those associated with the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of the Company’s current and future research and development programs, preclinical and clinical trials. For a detailed discussion of the risk factors that could affect the Company’s actual results, please refer to the risk factors identified in the Company’s SEC reports, including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K dated March 24, 2021. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
Morgan Warners, Finsbury Glover Hering