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Bristol Myers to Fund Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treg Therapies

GentiBio will use their proprietary regulatory T cell platform to develop the engineered therapies against multiple targets.

GentiBio and Bristol Myers Squibb are collaborating to develop engineered regulatory T cell therapies (Treg) for the potential treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Bristol Myers Squibb, a global leader in cell therapy and immunology drug development, to bring critically-needed, disease-modifying therapies to IBD patients," Adel Nada, MD, MS, co-founder and chief executive officer, GentiBio, said in a statement. "Unlike existing therapies, Tregs have the unique potential to re-establish immune tolerance in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as IBD. This strategic collaboration reflects our shared commitment to creating innovative immunotherapies that are designed to be potent, durable, selective and have the potential to significantly shift the standard of care for patients with autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases."

The companies will develop Treg therapies with the goal of restoring immune tolerance and repairing tissue in patients with IBD. GentiBio is bringing their proprietary Treg platform and scalable manufacturing process to the table to improve the scalability, stability, specificity, and durability of the Tregs while Bristol Myers Squibb is bringing their leadership in cell therapies and immunology. The multi-year collaboration aims to produce Tregs selecting for multiple targets, 3 of which Bristol Myers Squibb will have the rights to develop and advance into clinical trials.

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"Tregs have demonstrated the potential to suppress inflammation and autoimmune dysfunction in a tissue-restricted manner, thus avoiding widespread, and potentially harmful, immune suppression," Robert Plenge, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Head, Immunology, Cardiovascular and Fibrosis Thematic Research Center and Head, Translational Medicine, Bristol Myers Squibb, added to the statement. "We are excited to collaborate with GentiBio as we explore creating potentially promising Tregs for patients suffering from IBD."

GentiBio does not yet have any programs in the clinical stage. The company’s lead program is GNTI-122, an autologous engineered Treg product for treating Type 1 diabetes. The therapy, which expresses a pancreatic islet-specific T cell receptor is designed to restore immune tolerance to pancreatic islets as well as to support repair and improve function of inflamed and damaged beta cells. GNTI-122 also includes modifications to stabilize and increase expression of the FOXP3 protein and a chimeric IL-2 signaling complex to support proliferation and function and is tunable after administration.

REFERENCE
GentiBio announces collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to pioneer engineered Treg therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases. News release. GentiBio. August 10, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gentibio-announces-collaboration-with-bristol-myers-squibb-to-pioneer-engineered-treg-therapies-for-inflammatory-bowel-diseases-301603092.html