$15 million CIRM grant supports allogeneic CAR-T in renal cell carcinoma

CAR-T therapy

Allogene Therapeutics has received a $15 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support the development of ALLO-316, an AlloCAR T investigational product for the treatment of advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

ALLO-316 targets CD70, which is highly expressed in RCC and is also selectively expressed in several cancers.

The grant will support the ongoing Phase I TRAVERSE trial in advanced RCC that has progressed despite standard therapy.

Initial data from the TRAVERSE trial, presented at AACR 2023, showed promising response rates and early anti-tumour activity with deepening responses over time in participants with a marked unmet medical need.

“CAR-T has transformed the treatment of haematologic malignancies but there remains a significant opportunity to apply this innovation to solid tumours,” said Zachary Roberts, Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer of Allogene. “We believe this CIRM award validates the remarkable inroads we have made in our TRAVERSE trial to date and the therapeutic potential ALLO-316 has for patients with advanced RCC who have failed standard therapies.”

Limited treatment options for advanced RCC

Metastatic RCC is the most common kidney cancer globally and there are limited options for treatment after treatments with checkpoint blockers and targeted therapy have failed. The five-year survival rate for patients with advanced kidney cancer is less than 17%.

In the TRAVERSE trial, ALLO-316 has demonstrated the potency of the Dagger technology, which selectively eliminates CD70 positive, alloreactive host immune cells, thus delaying or preventing premature rejection of AlloCAR T cells by the patient’s immune system.

ALLO-316 has shown marked expansion and persistence both in preclinical experiments and in clinical trial patients, even when combined with comparatively less-intense lymphodepletion regimens.

The intent of this grant will be to facilitate completion of the Phase I portion of the trial, including expansion of clinical sites to increase access for diverse patient populations. Additionally, the grant will support translational and clinical analyses to inform a recommended Phase II regimen.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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