Developing Oncolytic Cell Therapies With VISION

Jennifer Buell, PhD, president and chief operating officer of Agenus, discussed the VISION platform the company uses to develop therapies.

“The VISION platform uses artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms to explore a broad range of drug and biology, immunology, and oncology cancer interactions… what you actually see in a human, we could recapitulate effectively in these in vitro models, and it allows us to really monitor and see how the systems are interacting.”

Agenus is developing a number of therapies for treating cancer with the help of their VISION (Virtual Systems for Immuno-Oncology) platform. These therapies include cell therapies, which are developed under their subsidiary Mink Therapeutics (formerly AgenTus Therapeutics). AgenT-797, an allogeneic unmodified invariant natural killer T cell therapy, is 1 of these cell therapies targeting cancer.

A phase 2 clinical trial (NCT04754100) is currently evaluating AgenT-797 and dosed its first patient with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma in April 2021. The trial is evaluating the safety, tolerability, and preliminary clinical activity of agenT-797, with safety, dose correlation to adverse events, and finding a recommended dose as primary outcomes. AgenT-797 is also being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Agenus’ president and chief operating officer, Jennifer Buell, PhD, to learn more about the VISION platform and its potential in developing oncolytic therapies. She also discussed the company’s manufacturing process.

Agenus doses first cancer patient with iNKT cell therapy. News release. Agenus. April 14, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021.
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