Reprogramming the Immune System for Kidney Transplant and Scleroderma

Scott Requadt, chief executive officer, Talaris Therapeutics, discussed the company’s goal to reprogram the immune system.

“Our audacious goal essentially is to use cells which are derived from a healthy donor to reprogram the immune system of a recipient. [Our lead program] is in solid organ transplant, where we... essentially grow a donor derived immune system in the transplant recipient that sees the transplanted organ as 'self' but doesn't attack the host.”

Talaris Therapeutics is aiming to be able to reprogram the immune system for a variety of immune indications. Their lead program is revolutionizing solid organ transplant by chimerizing the immune system to tolerate both donor and host cells.

Talaris’ FCR-001 is being evaluated in both their lead program in living kidney transplant and in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc), with preclinical studies in deceased kidney transplant. The company recently presented positive phase 2 long-term follow-up data in living kidney transplant which showed that the first 2 patients dosed over 12 months ago have been able to discontinue all immunosuppression.1,2 They also announced the phase 2 FREEDOM-3 trial in dcSSC.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Scott Requadt, chief executive officer, Talaris Therapeutics, to learn more about FCR-001 and the unmet need in the indications they are targeting, kidney transplant and dcSSc. He discussed the company’s approach and how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the unmet need in these indications.

1. Talaris Therapeutics provides first FREEDOM-1 phase 3 clinical update and presents additional phase 2 data and analyses at American Society of Nephrology Meeting. News release. Talaris Therapeutics. November 4, 2021.
2. Talaris Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Phase 2 Clinical Trial of FCR001 in Individuals with a Severe Form of Scleroderma. News release. Talaris Therapeutics. November 30, 2021.
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