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Sid Kerkar, MD, on Developing CAR T Therapies Without Lymphodepletion Chemotherapy

The vice president of oncology and research and development at Exuma Biotech discussed the company’s platforms, including CAR-TaNK cells.

“Currently, the biggest challenge is the time it takes to develop these treatments. The ability to manufacture cells in a day significantly decreases that time as well as the ability to do the release testing and to have a product ready in a week's time. That is a significant advance over the 3 to 4 weeks that it currently takes. That enables someone to get treatment without having to do bridging therapy... for oncology, for a disease that is rapidly dividing, people don't have that time, and it makes a big difference.”

Sid Kerkar, MD, vice president of oncology and research and development at Exuma Biotech, participated in a talk called “Subcutaneous generation of synthetic lymph nodes for the in vivo production of CAR-TaNK cells” at the 7th Annual CAR-TCR Summit 2022, held September 19-22 in Boston, Massachusetts.

CGTLive spoke with Kerkar to learn more about the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell natural killer (CAR-TaNK) cells being developed by Exuma Biotech to address current challenges with treating solid tumors. The therapy works by injecting CD3-directed lentiviral vectors loaded with peripheral blood mononuclear cells to form synthetic lymph nodes at the site of the injection that develop distinct CD3+ CD8+ CD56+ NKG2D+ CAR-TaNK cells. The therapy may allow for higher efficacy and lower toxicity, without the need for lymphodepletion chemotherapy. He also discussed other technology platforms in development at Exuma.

REFERENCE
Kerkar S. Subcutaneous generation of synthetic lymph nodes for the in vivo production of CAR-TaNK cells. Presented at: 7th Annual CAR-TCR Summit 2022, September 19-22, Boston, Massachusetts.