16 August 2023 | Wednesday | News
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CytoMed Therapeutics Limited (NASDAQ: GDTC) ("CytoMed" or "Company"), a Singapore-based biopharmaceutical company focused on harnessing its proprietary technologies to develop novel donor-derived cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of various cancers, announces today that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hangzhou CNK Therapeutics Co., Ltd (CNK). With this agreement, CytoMed can utilize CNK's PiggyBac technology to permanently graft the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) gene into its gamma delta (γδ) T cells via a non-viral gene editing method.
"We are currently using mRNA technology whereby the CAR gene is transient, and hence, the CAR expression would cease after a period of time, leaving non-CAR γδ T cells in the patient's body," said Dr. Tan Wee Kiat, Chief Operating Officer of CytoMed. "The γδ T cells that remain continue to be cytotoxic with the ability to kill cancer cells. Leveraging CNK's technology, the CAR gene now would be expressed for as long as the γδ T cells are present in the body. This means that the CAR-γδ T cells can now exert a targeted attack for as long as it is present in the patient's body, potentially increasing the efficacy of our CAR γδ T cells in the patient."
CytoMed was initially introduced to this opportunity by Professor Wang Shu, an advisor on the CytoMed Scientific Advisory Committee and co-inventor of the Company's CAR γδ T cell technology. Professor Wang Shu's deep understanding of cell therapy research, specifically CytoMed's technology, made it possible to discern the potential matching synergy between CytoMed and CNK's PiggyBac technologies.
The MOU has a duration of one year, with the option to renew, and is subject to a definitive agreement and customary closing conditions. There remains a potential opportunity for a joint venture to conduct clinical trials in China.
The signing ceremony took place on Tuesday, August 15 at the 17th Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council Meeting. In attendance was Senior Minister of State for National Development and Foreign Affairs Sim Ann and Zhejiang Vice Governor Lu Shan.
"Such strategic partnerships augment CytoMed's technology and bring us one step closer to our goal of advancing affordable, "off-the-shelf" allogeneic cellular immunotherapies for a broad spectrum of cancers," said Peter Choo, Chairman of CytoMed. "We look forward to continuing our growth with new and innovative partnerships."