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Systematic evaluation and optimization of immune-targeting modalities for GBM and brain metastases

Genomic Applications Partnership Program
Genome Centre(s):
Ontario Genomics
Project Leader(s):
Jason Moffat (University of Toronto)
Receptor Leader(s):
Sheila Singh (Empirica Therapeutics)
Project Description: 

There are currently no successful therapeutic regimens for patients with recurrent/refractory glioblastoma (GBM), and brain metastases (BM). Partnering with Dr. Jason Moffat at the University of Toronto and collaborators at McMaster University, Empirica has used genomic screening technology to identify CD133 as a promising target for effective treatment in both in vitro and in vivo models using Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy. The overall goal of the project is to design and validate next-generation CD133 CAR-Ts that are genetically engineered to be manufactured “off-the-shelf”- thus less costly - and are less susceptible to immune suppression. GBM accounts for more than 50% of the approximately 22,850 cases of brain and other nervous system cancers that were diagnosed in 2015. As one of the most aggressive cancer types, with inevitable recurrence, the global GBM market was US $416.8 million in 2015 and is forecast to reach US $1.15 billion by 2024 as the global population increases. In Canada, costs of cancer care have been steadily on the rise, and this project aims to provide more effective and universal treatments for recurrent GBM that can alleviate this economic burden.