Targeting Cancers With CAR T and NK Cells

Jan Davidson, MD, PhD, chief medical officer, Wugen, discussed the company’s future plans and research.

"Other companies are applying a lot of engineering to these cells to get them to the level that we feel ours are at in terms of anti-tumor activity, as well as metabolic fitness and survival... We are planning to engineer these cells, but the engineering will improve upon the already good activity that these cells have. So, there is an opportunity to engineer and build further on this already good platform.”

Wugen is targeting a variety of cancers with off-the-shelf, allogeneic cell therapies, created with the use of their memory natural killer (NK) cell platform and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell platform. Their lead programs are an NK cell therapy, WU-NK-101, and a CAR T-cell therapy, WU-CART-007.

A recent phase 1/2 study evaluated WU-NK-101 for the potential treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Data from the study suggest that the therapy was well-tolerated, persistent, and active against AML. It is also in preclinical studies in head and neck cancer and melanoma. 

In the CAR T program, WU-CART-007 is in preclinical studies in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A phase 1/2 trial (NCT04984356) of WU-CART-007 will soon start enrolling, as well as a phase 2 trial (NCT04893915) of WU-NK-101.

GeneTherapyLive spoke with Jan Davidson, MD, PhD, chief medical officer, Wugen, to learn more about the company’s CAR T and NK cell programs. He also discussed challenges with enrolling clinical trials as well as the company’s future plans and research.

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