" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Turnstone Biologics Enters Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute - Medtech Alert
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Turnstone Biologics Enters Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute

Turnstone Biologics Corp, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation immunotherapies to treat and cure solid tumors, today announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to evaluate the generation of tumor-reactive T-cells, which form the basis of Turnstone’s tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte platform (Selected TILs), from clinical tissue samples obtained from patients treated with Turnstone’s proprietary viral immunotherapies.

The combination of Selected TILs and viral immunotherapy have the potential to enhance the efficacy of TILs and to extend their benefit to patients with a broad array of solid tumors. The collaboration will be co-led by Stewart Abbot, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Turnstone Biologics, and Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Surgery Branch at the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research and a pioneer in the fields of immunotherapy and cell therapy.

“I believe TIL therapy is one of the most exciting areas of modern research in the cancer arena,” notes Dr. Abbot. “The low concentration of functional tumor-reactive T-cells in many solid tumors is a key challenge to immunotherapy of cancer, and better methods to generate these immune cells are needed to prevail against solid tumors. Viral immunotherapy has the potential to synergistically drive infiltration of tumor-reactive T-cells and modulate immune responses, and thereby deepen the activity and durability of TIL therapy to reach new frontiers for this highly promising field.”

Selected TILs represent the foundational therapeutic modality driving Turnstone’s cancer immunotherapy pipeline and leverage decades of published work grounded in academia that have demonstrated the promise of treating solid tumor cancers through the identification, selection, and expansion of the most potent patient specific tumor-reactive T-cells. Turnstone’s viral immunotherapies are designed to enhance trafficking of these Selected TILs directly to the site of the tumor and modify the immunosuppressive microenvironment to support the anti-tumor functions of infiltrating immune cells. Through this novel combination, Turnstone aims to improve and broaden the clinical efficacy of Selected TILs and overcome the limitations of current treatment options to achieve positive outcomes in intractable solid tumors.

Under the terms of the CRADA, the parties will evaluate the impact of Turnstone’s proprietary oncolytic viruses on increasing the immune response to tumor neoantigens in clinical patient samples. Turnstone will be responsible for manufacturing and administering its viral immunotherapies to patients and subsequent tissue collection. NCI investigators will use NCI-developed methods and proprietary in vitro techniques to study lymphocytes derived from these patients, characterize their specificity and evaluate their persistence. The parties will jointly analyze data and exchange information and expertise to advance the development of oncolytic viruses as an improved method for the generation of Selected TILs.

“Dr. Rosenberg pioneered cancer immunotherapy and cell therapy and we are honored to have him and the NCI as collaborators for this study,” said Sammy Farah, Ph.D., M.B.A., President and Chief Executive Officer, Turnstone Biologics. “Turnstone’s combination strategies with TIL and viral immunotherapy are designed to improve TIL harvest and overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment for better trafficking and expansion of our Selected TILs. This CRADA with the highly distinguished team at the NCI provides us with an optimal path towards demonstrating the value of this innovative approach and translating our scientific advances into more effective treatments.”

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