Eureka Therapeutics Awarded $10.6 Million CIRM Grant to Support Clinical Trial of ARTEMIS® T-Cell Therapy in Pediatric Liver Cancer
Eureka Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel T-cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) awarded the Company a $10.6 million grant to support its ongoing ARYA-2 Phase I study of ET140203 for the treatment of pediatric patients with refractory/relapsed liver cancer, including hepatoblastoma (HB), hepatocellular neoplasm not otherwise specified (HCN-NOS), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
“We are delighted to partner with CIRM and are honored by their recognition of the potential of our ET140203 ARTEMIS T-cell therapy program,” said Dr. Cheng Liu, President and CEO of Eureka Therapeutics. “Pediatric liver malignancies are rare, have no FDA-approved treatment options, and remain difficult to treat. This partnership will allow us to accelerate the development and clinical translation of a promising new treatment and potentially improve the prognosis and survival outcome of pediatric patients with liver cancer.”
ET140203 ARTEMIS T cells are produced by extracting T cells from a patient’s blood and genetically modifying them to specifically target an alpha fetoprotein (AFP)-peptide/HLA-A2 complex found on liver cancer cells. These engineered T cells are then expanded in the laboratory and reinfused into the patient’s body to selectively seek out and kill AFP expressing liver cancer cells.
“We are deeply appreciative of the CIRM Application Review Subcommittee members’ unanimous vote to support our effort to make novel cellular therapies available to the medically underserved pediatric liver cancer population,” said Dr. Pei Wang, Vice President of Clinical Development and Principal Investigator under the CIRM grant. “We look forward to collaborating with our clinical partners and the CIRM team to bring ET140203 to patients.”
The ARYA-2 study of ET140203 is part of the Eureka liver cancer portfolio, and is being run in parallel with Eureka’s ongoing ARYA-1 and ARYA-3 studies of adult patients with HCC. The ARYA-1 and ARYA-2 studies use ET140203 ARTEMIS T cells to target AFP-positive liver cancer cells. The ARYA-3 study uses ECT204 ARTEMIS T cells to target the Glypican 3 (GPC3) protein expressed on the surface of liver cancer cells.
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