Stella Vnook, PharmD, on Improving Cell Therapy Delivery to Solid Tumors With Core Shell Spherification


The chief executive officer of Likarda discussed the company’s CSS technology and how it may reduce off-tissue effects.

“Likarda’s cell delivery formulation is optimized for extended cell activation at the target site. We're able to get the cells to your target organ and to design a specific hydrogel that will stay on that target organ for 5 hours, 5 weeks, or 5 months, however long it needs to be. It really reduces off-target effects, because you know this is where your cells will stay. We have already tested CAR-T and other T-cells in our hydrogel, and we know each of them require a unique and customized microenvironment in order to survive and function optimally.We're looking forward to testing additional cells like NKs."

Many companies and universities are working toward being able to harness cell therapy for the treatment of solid tumors and are tackling obstacles that exist in the way with different strategies. One such issue is getting the cells to their target and getting them to stay there. Likarda’s answer to this problem is its Core Shell Spherification (CSS) encapsulating hydrogel technology, which, the company states, avoids the body's immune response and allows extended cell activation at the target site with fewer off-tissue effects.

CGTLive spoke with Stella Vnook, PharmD, chief executive officer of Likarda, to learn more about the company and its technology. She shared potential advantages of the discussed the company’s CSS technology and her belief that it could be broadly applicable to help deliver a wide range of cells to target organs. She also discussed Likarda’s current aims and goals, as well as what the company will be working towards in the next year.

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