Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers, today announced that an abstract on new Phase 1 translational results for BPX-601, its lead GoCAR-T product candidate, has been accepted for poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (ASCO GI). The meeting is being held January 23-25, 2020 in San Francisco.
Details of the poster presentation are as follows:
Title: Tumor Infiltration and Cytokine Biomarkers of Prostate Stem Cell Antigen (PSCA)-Directed GoCAR-T® Cells in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Tumors
Poster Board: M1, Abstract 734
Presenter: Joanne Shaw, Ph.D.
Time/Location: Friday, January 24, 2020, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT, Level 1, West Hall
Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company striving to deliver cures through controllable cell therapies. The company’s next-generation product candidates are differentiated by powerful cell signaling technologies designed to produce more effective CAR-T and allogeneic cell therapies. Bellicum’s lead GoCAR-T® candidate, BPX-601, is designed to be a more efficacious CAR-T cell product capable of overriding key immune inhibitory mechanisms.
Back on December 11, 2019, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLCM), announced that The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center exercised its option to license Bellicum’s CaspaCIDe® safety switch technology.
Under terms of the original license agreement, MD Anderson’s decision to exercise the option entitled Bellicum to receive an upfront payment of $5 million, to be recognized in the fourth quarter 2019 financial results, and undisclosed future milestone payments and royalties on sales. The license agreement with Bellicum specifically covers use of the CaspaCIDe safety switch in MD Anderson’s CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor natural killer (CAR NK) cell construct.
“We are excited that MD Anderson recognizes the utility of our CaspaCIDe safety switch technology,” said Rick Fair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. “We believe that the addition of CaspaCIDe to therapies like their CD19 CAR NK program can enable physicians to provide additional protection for patients.”
The CaspaCIDe safety switch (also known as inducible Caspase-9, or iC9) is designed to be inactive unless the patient experiences a serious side effect such as cytokine release syndrome or neurologic toxicities. CaspaCIDe consists of the Chemical Induction of Dimerization, or CID, binding domain coupled to the signaling domain of Caspase-9, an enzyme that is an integral part of the apoptotic, cell death pathway. If a patient experiences a serious side effect, an activator agent, rimiducid or temsirolimus, is administered to trigger dimerization and activation of the safety switch, which in turn leads to selective apoptosis of the CaspaCIDe-expressing cells, with the goal of attenuating the therapy and resolving the serious side effect.
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