Improving Safety With CAR Engager Proteins

Paul Rennert, president and chief scientific officer of Aleta BioTherapeutics, discussed the company’s research on CAR T therapies.

“This CAR can traffic into and out of the CNS. When it's in the periphery, it can encounter B cells and that provides it with persistence, longevity and fitness. When in the CNS, it'll encounter HER2 and the other antigens that we're targeting that are only expressed in the CNS on the target tumor lesion. So, it's safe for the patient.”

A challenge that remains with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is high relapse rates in treated patients despite promising efficacy in B-cell malignancies and multiple myeloma. Aleta BioTherapeutics has developed CAR T Engager proteins designed to address target cells’ loss of antigen expression with the hopes of improving these relapse rates.

ALETA-001, the company’s lead program, is a CD20-targeted CAR T Engager designed to treat patients with hematologic malignancies relapsing after CD19 CAR T therapy. It is currently in investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies, along with other programs in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors in the pipeline.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Paul Rennert, the company’s president and chief scientific officer, to learn more about the IND-enabling studies the company is conducting with ALETA-001 and data from the studies. He also discussed some advantages of CAR T Engager proteins compared with traditional CAR T therapies.

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