Formula Pharmaceuticals acquires CAR platform

Formula Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently acquired global, exclusive rights to a non-viral, allogeneic, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology platform.

The platform, developed at the Research Center Fondazione M. Tettamanti, uses Cytokine-Induced Killer (CIK) cells to act as immune effector cells.

“Formula’s C.I.K. CAR represents a proprietary, next-generation technology platform that is significantly differentiated from existing CAR-T approaches and could offer solutions to limitations associated with the use of the current platform of autologous T cells,” Maurits W. Geerlings, the president and CEO of Formula Pharmaceuticals, said. “In addition, Formula’s technology platform leverages non-viral transfection, which could make scale-up manufacturing significantly more practical and cost-effective as compared to viral transfection methods. We look forward to advancing the field of CAR immunotherapy with this important novel advanced therapy approach.”

Based on positive pre-clinical data, the CAR is expected to enter clinical trials in 2016. 

“We have carefully assessed how we wanted to enter into the CAR immunotherapy field, considering the rapid pace of development,”  Geerlings said. “Patients and physicians want to maximize the likelihood of clinical benefit from CAR immunotherapy. Working with C.I.K. cells, allogeneic blood provided by healthy donors and non-viral transfection, we hope to provide a better alternative to patients.”

Formula plans to use the CAR platform to develop proprietary and licensed targets in hematologic oncology and solid tumor indications.