Vycellix, Inc., announced that its chief executive officer, Evren Alici, MD, will talk about new approaches in adoptive cancer immunotherapy at the Innate Killer Summit 2016, taking place in San Diego, California, on May 16–18. Vycellix is focused on developing potential treatments for sarcomas and hematological malignancies.
According to a press release, Dr. Alici will present two sessions at the summit, a half-day workshop titled, “Cell Expansion Methodologies for Enhanced Efficacy,” and the talk, “Screening for the Best Response for Adoptively Transferred NK-cells.” He is head of the Gene & Cell Therapy Group, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, at the Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden, and a visiting research professor at the NSU Cell Therapy Institute, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Vycellix’s pre-clinical product pipeline includes the molecules VY-OZ and VY-X. An optimized genetic modification of an NK-cell (natural killer cells) solution, VY-OZ is designed to provide a predictable and streamlined pathway for the manufacture of effective cancer immunotherapies by improving NK-cell responses and making them less susceptible to the tumor microenvironment. The technology aids in designing NK-cells expressing cytokine transgenes, silenced inhibitory receptors, activating receptors, or CARs.
VY-X is a new and highly specific RNA construct that leads to a significantly increased load of perforin and granzyme B in NK-cells and cytotoxic T-cells. The molecule is being advanced as a direct therapeutic.
Both VY-OZ and VY-X have been shown to enhance T-cells and NK-cells. Both products have demonstrated the ability to deliver optimal, cost-effective gene modification, the company said in the release, rapidly increasing in vivo and ex vivo immune response, stimulating rapid activation of immune effector cells, and yielding amplification of killing capacity for cytotoxic lymphocytes.
Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Although it is not entirely clear how immunotherapy treats cancer, researchers believe it may work by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, by preventing their spread, and by helping the immune system destroy cancer cells.