Kyle Garland, PhD, on the Potential of mRNA-engineered iPSC-derived Cell Therapies for Solid Tumors

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The senior scientist at Eterna Therapeutics discussed the company’s numerous presentations at ASGCT’s 2023 conference.

“We’re really excited about this new data and we believe that this novel approach has potential to form the foundation of an entirely new class of cell therapy that could be important for treating cancers—where we can sort of mimic the human immune response—the natural response to fight disease—and that is involving multiple cell types working together in a concerted manner.”

Although the FDA-approved chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies currently available today have provided a transformative new treatment option for some patients with cancer, these therapies have several significant drawbacks, such as the complexity of the manufacturing process, issues with reliability, and their limitation to treating hematological cancers. One area of interest for expanding the potential of cell therapies into the solid tumor space is the use of mRNA-engineered induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell products.

In conjunction with its partner Factor Bioscience, Eterna Therapeutics is giving 8 presentations at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 2023 Annual Meeting, held May 16-20, in Los Angeles, California. The presentations cover preclinical research on various topics including Eterna’s work with mRNA-engineered iPSC-derived cell therapies, targeted gene insertion, and nucleic acid delivery.

In an interview with CGTLive™, Kyle Garland, PhD, a senior scientist at Eterna Therapeutics, discussed some of the key results the company is presenting at the conference and their implications. With reference to the company’s efforts to apply cell therapy to solid tumors, he highlighted that in in vitro work with iPSC-derived lymphoid and myeloid cells, synergistic killing of SK-OV-3 ovarian tumor cells was observed. In addition to the study results, Garland also discussed the challenge of evaluating rapidly advancing cell therapy technologies with the currently existing regulatory framework and emphasized the need for companies developing advanced therapeutics to work closely with the FDA and other regulatory agencies.

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