TC BioPharm (TCB) has received a €4m grant under the Horizon 2020 programme to advance its gamma-delta T (GDT) cell therapy for cancer.
TCB said the grant would allow it to develop a ‘next-generation’ GDT cell therapy called OmnImmune®, using an allogeneic approach in which treatments could be manufactured using existing donor cells stored in a biobank.
The company reasoned that an allogeneic ‘off-the-shelf’ approach would allow for the treatment of a larger target population of cancer sufferers than an autologous treatment. The allogeneic treatment would create a more reproducible product, having been ‘campaign-manufactured’ in bulk to contain costs.
TCB said it plans to manufacture allogeneic cell banks during 2017–2018, with the aim of treating its first cancer patients with GDT early in 2019.
Plans call for TCB to couple the treatment with its proprietary chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) platform, through which GDT cells will be ‘supercharged’ to attack specific tumour types.
At present, TCB said, it is working with Clinical Centres of Excellence to treat cancer patients across the UK, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oxford, Southampton, London, Leeds, Cardiff, Manchester, Sheffield and Belfast.
TCB chief executive Michael Leek, said: “I look forward to developing our novel allogeneic GDT cell therapies with clinical partners at trial sites in Prague, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.
TCB COO Angela Scott added: “We are thrilled that H2020 funding has been awarded, allowing us to treat large numbers of cancer patients across the EU and in North America.”
Headquartered in Scotland at the Pentlands Science Park, TCB has raised more than €25m in funding since it began operations in February 2014.