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Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Therapy For Solid Tumors

Project description

Novel immunotherapy against solid tumours

Immuno-oncology regimens that include CAR-T therapy are powerful tools in cancer treatment. The unresolved CAR-T therapy challenges are limited therapy persistence and tumour-induced immunosuppression. The EU-funded CAR-T-uning project will assess the technical and commercial feasibility of an improved chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) treatment with a novel mechanism of action. It is based on a recent discovery that inhibition of orphan nuclear receptor NR2F6 increases therapy persistence and reduces immunosuppression at the tumour site to improve immune response. The researchers will validate the novel CAR-T approach using in vivo mouse and ex vivo patient-derived tumour models, focusing on non-small cell lung cancer, and determine the commercial feasibility to establish the best path to market.


CAR-T(uning) will assess the technical and commercial feasibility of an improved and broadly applicable chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) approach based on a novel implemented mechanism of action. There is an urgent need for more effective treatment strategies against cancer, which remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Immuno-oncology regimens such as, immune checkpoint blockade therapy (ICT) and CAR-T therapy emerged as powerful tools in cancer treatment, however, in the majority of patients these fail to achieve long-lasting therapy response. Further, they remain costly and applicable to a limited range of cancer types. Specifically, CAR-T therapy faces two unresolved challenges: 1) limited therapy persistence; 2) tumor-induced immunosuppression. Consequently, no CAR-T therapy against solid tumor cancers has reached the market. Prof. Gottfried Baier has uncovered that inhibition of orphan nuclear receptor NR2F6, a downstream target of T cell antigen receptor signaling intermediate PKCθ, overcomes these shortcomings in a two-fold manner: 1) increased therapy persistence to improve its long-lasting effects; 2) reduced immunosuppression at the tumor site to improve immune response. Within this ERC PoC, first we will technically validate this approach using in vivo mouse and ex vivo patient-derived tumor models. We will focus on NSCLC as first indication, as it is one of the most-difficult to treat solid cancers with high mortality rate and disease burden. Subsequently, commercial feasibility will be determined by verifying IP position and strategy, performing in-depth market and competitor analyses, and finally consolidating these into a business plan to establish the best path to commercialization. Successful commercialization of CAR-T(uning) would reduce the socioeconomic burden of NSCLC, extending and improving patient lives, and enable the development of long-lasting, (cost-)effective CAR-T therapies applicable to a greater range of cancer types.


Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Christoph probst platz 1
6020 Innsbruck

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Westösterreich Tirol Innsbruck
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00