January 26, 2021
Kiromic BioPharma, Inc., an immuno-oncology target discovery and gene-editing company, with a proprietary artificial intelligence neural network platform (Diamond AI) to develop novel oncology therapeutics, has announced the completion of the chPD1 licensing agreement with Longwood University.
- PD-1 has always been a challenge for CAR-T development.
- PD-1 is the brakes of the immune system, inhibiting immune cells from killing tumor cells. Traditional PD-1 inhibitors block the PD-1 receptor, “removing the brakes” of T-cell activity.
- Kiromic’s chPD1 not only “removes the brakes” but also engages the PD-1 receptor to “accelerate” T-cell activity.
- Upon interaction with the PD-1 ligand, the chPD1 receptor activates CD3 zeta (the main activating intracellular domain for T cells), and Dap10 (costimulatory domain). The activation of these two intracellular domains induces T cell activation, cytokine secretion, and tumor cell lysis.
“Longwood University is proud to have completed this chPD1 licensing agreement with Kiromic. We believe that Kiromic has a strong Allogenic Off-The-Shelf CAR-T program which will be even stronger with chPD1. The role that chPD1 plays in the modulation of the tumor micro-environment (TME) can never be underestimated when treating solid tumors,” says Dr. Amorette Barber, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Office of Student Research at Longwood University.
“The completion of the licensing agreement for chPD1 marks a major milestone for Kiromic CAR-T development. With chPD1, we believe our chimeric PD1 CAR-T will be able to overcome the challenging tumor micro-environment (TME) which has plagued other CAR-T programs,” says Dr. Maurizio Chiriva-Internati, PhD, CEO of Kiromic BioPharma.
“We believe that the licensing agreement of chPD1 from Longwood will make Kiromic the only CAR-T development program with a built-in capability to meet other CAR-T programs head-on who do not have a bundled chPD1 CAR-T. We believe that the licensing agreement will place Kiromic in a solid position to begin first in-human in solid tumors,” says Mr. Gianluca Rotino, Chief of Strategy and Innovation of Kiromic BioPharma.