We are a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing the next generation of novel T cell therapies for patients suffering from cancer. Our proprietary TCR Fusion Construct T cells (TRuC-T cells) specifically recognize and kill cancer cells by harnessing the entire T cell receptor (TCR) signaling complex, which we believe is essential for T cell therapies to be effective in patients with solid tumors.
We have designed our TRuC-T cells so that tumor cell recognition does not require human leukocyte antigens (HLA), which provides two important additional benefits. First, in contrast to current engineered T cell therapies that use the full TCR (TCR-T cells), our technology is designed so that it can be applied to all patients that express the cancer surface antigen irrespective of HLA subtype, which we believe will allow us to address a significantly larger patient population. Second, HLA is downregulated or lost in many tumors which can prevent their recognition by T cells and lead to diminished response rates and higher relapse rates. We therefore believe our approach will allow us to deliver the first HLA-independent TCR-T cell therapy for patients with solid tumors. We also believe that our product candidates have the potential to improve upon the efficacy and safety of currently approved chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapies in CD19-positive B-cell hematological malignancies. This belief is based on preclinical studies comparing our product candidates to CAR-T cells that we engineered.
According to a 2017 press release from the FDA on the licensure of the first engineered T cell therapy for cancer, the field is "entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient's own cells to attack a deadly cancer." We founded our company to build on these early T cell therapy innovations while addressing their limitations and making our product candidates available to a broader patient population.