CAR T-cell therapy, which utilizes the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, is a rapidly expanding, and very promising, field of research. The explosion in patent filings in this area in recent years suggests that we can expect to see an extraordinary expansion in potential therapies in the coming decade.
The platform technology relies on the modification of T-cells to recognize and kill cancer cells and, primarily, has focussed on therapies for patients with advanced B-cell leukaemias. However, using CAR T-cell therapy to treat other cancers has proven difficult, particularly solid tumors.
The news that PureTech has launched a new startup, Vor-BioPharma, to develop an entirely new approach to CAR T-cell therapy with the objective of broadening its applicability in other cancers, particularly those with limited therapeutic options, is an exciting development. PureTech already holds a significant IP portfolio and it seems we can expect it to expand in the coming years as innovations in this field (“the next big thing in cancer research”) continue.