Fate Therapeutics Announces Termination of Collaboration Agreement with Janssen, Pipeline Prioritization, Next-Generation Programs, and Key 2023 Initiatives
Ended 2022 with Approximately
Advancing Second-generation CD19-targeted CAR NK Cell Program with Five Novel Synthetic Controls Designed to Increase Potency, Extend Functional Persistence, and Reduce Patient Conditioning for Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies and Severe Autoimmune Disorders; IND Submission Planned in Mid-2023 for NHL in Combination with CD20-targeted mAb; FT596 Product Candidate to be Discontinued
Ongoing Phase 1 Study of
2023 IND Submission under Ono Collaboration Planned for FT825/ONO-8250 HER2-targeted CAR T-cell Product Candidate; Solid Tumor Program Incorporates Seven Novel Synthetic Controls Designed to Promote Effector Cell Function, Trafficking, and Resistance to Immunosuppressive Tumor Microenvironment
Ongoing FT819 Phase 1 Study of First-ever iPSC-derived CAR T-cell Therapy to Continue Dose and Dose Schedule Optimization for NHL; Single-dose and Novel Split-dose Treatment Schedules to Compare Pharmacokinetic, Safety, and Response Profiles
“We are disappointed that we were not able to align with Janssen on their proposal for continuation of our collaboration, where two product candidates targeting high-value, clinically-validated hematology antigens were set to enter clinical development in 2023,” said
“Our second-generation CD19-targeted CAR NK cell program incorporates CD38 knock-out and can be effectively combined with B cell-targeted monoclonal antibody therapy, including those targeting CD20 and CD38, to direct a multi-antigen attack on target cells. This broadens the program’s therapeutic application to include both hematologic malignancies, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma, and severe autoimmune disorders, and has the potential to enable patient dosing with reduced conditioning chemotherapy. In 2023, we plan to initiate clinical development and assess the potential of this highly-differentiated program with five novel synthetic controls of cell function, rather than commit our resources to an expansive, registrational-directed effort for our FT596 program which does not benefit from certain attributes that we believe are critical for expanded disease application and broad patient reach,” continued
NK Cell Programs
- First IND Submission Planned in Mid-2023 for Second-generation CD19-targeted CAR NK Cell Program. The Company has applied its unique ability to create multiplexed-engineered iPSC lines to improve upon its first-generation FT596 program, incorporating five novel synthetic controls designed to increase NK cell potency, enhance functional persistence, and reduce or eliminate the need to administer conditioning chemotherapy to patients. The additional features, including the knock-out of CD38, have the potential to significantly improve safety and clinical benefit, facilitate ease of combination with standard-of-care regimens including CD20- and CD38-targeted monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy, and enable use in the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma (MM), and severe autoimmune disorders. The program also incorporates the Company’s proprietary alloimmune defense receptor (ADR) technology for which the Company presented preclinical data at the
American Society of Hematology(ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in December 2022, which data indicated that ADR-armed, iPSC-derived CAR NK cells have the potential to proliferate, functionally persist, and durably kill tumor cells while resisting rejection by allo-reactive immune cells. The Company intends to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in mid-2023 to commence a Phase 1 study of its second-generation program in combination with CD20-targeted mAb therapy for the treatment of NHL, including without administration of intensive conditioning chemotherapy to patients.
- Ongoing Phase 1 Study of FT576 BCMA-targeted CAR NK Cell Program to Accrue Higher-dose, Multi-dose Treatment Cohorts. At the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting, the Company presented interim Phase 1 clinical data from the low-dose escalation cohorts of single-dose administration of FT576 as monotherapy and in combination with CD38-targeted mAb therapy for the treatment of MM, which showed encouraging clinical evidence of BCMA-targeted activity in heavily pre-treated patients and a favorable safety profile indicating its potential to be administered in the outpatient setting. Moreover, Phase 1 translational data from the combination arm showed that CD38-positive patient immune cells were rapidly and selectively depleted through the first month of therapy, suggesting that iPSC-derived NK cells incorporating CD38 knock-out, such as FT576, may be combined with CD38-targeted mAb therapy to promote dual-antigen targeting of plasma cells and mitigate the risk of rejection. Preclinical data published in
November 2022in the journal Nature Communications(Cichocki et al. 2022, 13:7341) demonstrated that, while single-dose administration of FT576 was effective at controlling tumor growth in vivo, deeper and more sustained anti-tumor activity was observed through multi-dose administration. Dose escalation assessing multi-dose administration of FT576 as monotherapy and in combination with CD38-targeted mAb therapy is currently ongoing at 300 million cells per dose.
- Ongoing FT819 Phase 1 Study Assessing Single-dose and Novel Split-dose Treatment Schedules. The landmark clinical trial, which is the first-ever clinical investigation of a T-cell product candidate manufactured from a clonal master iPSC line, is assessing conventional single-dose and novel split-dose treatment schedules of FT819 to compare pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy. Dose escalation is currently ongoing in a single-dose treatment regimen at 360 million cells and in a split-dose treatment regimen at 60 million cells per dose. At the 2022 ASH Annual Meeting, the Company presented interim clinical data from its ongoing Phase 1 study, which showed a favorable safety profile and demonstrated objective responses in heavily pre-treated patients with aggressive large B-cell lymphoma, including in patients who were not eligible for or had previously failed autologous CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapy.
- 2023 IND Submission Planned for Multiplexed-engineered CAR T-cell Therapy FT825/ONO-8250. Under the Company’s collaboration with ONO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (ONO), the parties are conducting IND-enabling activities for FT825/ONO-8250, a multiplexed-engineered, iPSC-derived CAR T-cell product candidate targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-expressing solid tumors. The product candidate incorporates seven novel synthetic controls designed to enhance effector cell function and overcome unique challenges in treating solid tumors with cell-based cancer immunotherapies, including cell trafficking, tumor infiltration, and immune cell suppression in the tumor microenvironment. At the
Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer(SITC) 37th Annual Meeting held in November 2022, the Company presented preclinical data of FT825/ONO-8250, which highlighted the differentiated targeting profile of the novel HER2-targeted binding domain, functional activity of its synthetic CXCR2 receptor to promote cell trafficking, its synthetic TGFβ receptor to redirect immunosuppressive signals in the tumor microenvironment, and its synthetic interleukin-7 receptor fusion protein to induce T-cell activation. The parties expect to submit an IND application to the FDA in 2023 to commence a Phase 1 study of FT825/ONO-8250 for patients with HER2-positive solid tumors.
- Preclinical Development to Focus on Multiplexed-engineered, Multi-antigen Targeted CAR T-cell Programs. The Company’s proprietary iPSC product platform enables the selective design of multiplexed-engineered, CAR T-cell product candidates which incorporate novel synthetic controls of cell function and can deliver multiple mechanisms of action. Through the application of its platform, the Company is developing multiplexed-engineered, multi-antigen targeted CAR T-cell product candidates utilizing its library of novel binding domains targeting hematologic malignancy and solid tumor antigens.
Wind Down of Janssen Collaboration
During the fourth quarter of 2022, the FDA allowed an IND application for a first collaboration product for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma, for which the Company expects to receive a
3-year Operational Runway
The Company ended the fourth quarter of 2022 with unaudited cash, cash equivalents, and receivables totaling approximately
About Fate Therapeutics’ iPSC Product Platform
The Company’s proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) product platform enables mass production of off-the-shelf, multiplexed-engineered cell products that are selectively designed, incorporate novel synthetic controls of cell function, and can deliver multiple mechanisms of therapeutic importance to patients. Human iPSCs possess the unique dual properties of unlimited self-renewal and differentiation potential into all cell types of the body. The Company’s first-of-kind approach combines multiplexed-engineering of human iPSCs with single-cell selection to create clonal master iPSC lines. Analogous to master cell lines used to manufacture biopharmaceutical drug products such as monoclonal antibodies, clonal master iPSC lines are a renewable source for manufacturing multiplexed-engineered cell products which are well-defined and uniform in composition, can be mass produced at significant scale in a cost-effective manner, and can be delivered off-the-shelf to maximize patient reach. As a result, the Company’s platform is uniquely designed to overcome numerous limitations associated with the production of cell therapies using patient- or donor-sourced cells, which is logistically complex and expensive and is subject to batch-to-batch and cell-to-cell variability that can affect clinical safety and efficacy. Fate Therapeutics’ iPSC product platform is supported by an intellectual property portfolio of over 350 issued patents and 150 pending patent applications.
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements regarding the progress of and plans related to the Company's product candidates, clinical studies and preclinical research and development programs, the therapeutic and market potential of the Company’s product candidates, the Company’s clinical and product development strategy, the Company's expectations regarding its receipt of future payments for milestones achieved under its collaboration agreement with Janssen prior to the termination of the agreement, and the anticipated effects of the Company’s workforce reduction and reprioritization of preclinical and clinical development activities, including its projected cash runway. These and any other forward-looking statements in this release are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk that the Company’s product candidates may not demonstrate the requisite safety or efficacy to warrant further development or to achieve regulatory approval, the risk that results observed in prior studies of the Company’s product candidates, including preclinical studies and clinical trials, will not be observed in ongoing or future studies involving these product candidates, the risk of a delay or difficulties in the manufacturing of the Company’s product candidates or in the initiation and conduct of, or enrollment of patients in, any clinical trials, the risk that the Company may cease or delay preclinical or clinical development of any of its product candidates for a variety of reasons (including requirements that may be imposed by regulatory authorities on the initiation or conduct of clinical trials, changes in the therapeutic, regulatory, or competitive landscape for which the Company’s product candidates are being developed, the amount and type of data to be generated or otherwise to support regulatory approval, difficulties or delays in patient enrollment and continuation in the Company’s ongoing and planned clinical trials, difficulties in manufacturing or supplying the Company’s product candidates for clinical testing, and any adverse events or other negative results that may be observed during preclinical or clinical development), the risk that results observed in preclinical studies of its product candidates may not be replicated in ongoing or future clinical trials, the risk that its product candidates may not produce therapeutic benefits or may cause other unanticipated adverse effects, the risk that the Company may not comply with its obligations under and otherwise maintain its collaboration agreement with
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Source: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.