Session: 802. Chemical Biology and Experimental Therapeutics: Innovations in Therapy and Drug Screening
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Leukemia, ALL, Biological, antibodies, Diseases, CLL, Lymphoma (any), Therapies, CAR-Ts, immunotherapy, Lymphoid Malignancies, Myeloid Malignancies, stem cells
Utilizing our proprietary cellular reprogramming and engineering platform and stage-specific T cell differentiation protocol, we demonstrate that iPSC can be engineered at the single cell level to generate a fully characterized clonal iPSC line, which can then be accessed routinely to yield CAR iT cells in a highly scalable manufacturing process (>100,000 fold expansion). Through bi-allelic targeting of a CAR into the T cell receptor alpha constant (TRAC) region, we generated CAR iT cells with uniform CAR expression (99.0 ± 0.5% CAR+) and complete elimination of T cell receptor (TCR) expression to avoid GvHD in the allogeneic setting. We elected to utilize the 1XX-CAR configuration, which has demonstrated superior anti-tumor performance relative to other CAR designs and when introduced into iT cells displayed enhanced antigen specificity (% specific cytotoxicity at E:T=10:1, antigen positive group: 86.4 ± 7.8; antigen null group: 8.9 ± 3.5). To enhance persistence without reliance on exogenous cytokine support, we engineered signaling-fusion complexes, including IL-7 receptor fusion (RF), into iPSC and studied its impact on iT phenotype, persistence, and efficacy. In vitro, IL-7RF clones demonstrated improved anti-tumor activity in a serial antigen dependent tumor challenge assay (Day 10, relative tumor counts, IL-7RF group: 1.95 ± 0.01; control group: 57.56 ± 4.55, P<0.000001). In a preclinical in vivo model of disseminated leukemia, IL-7RF clones demonstrate enhanced tumor growth inhibition (Day 34, Log [BLI], IL-7RF group: 6.68 ± 1.93; control group: 9.99 ± 0.23, P=0.0143). We next investigated a unique strategy to incorporate multi-antigen targeting potential into anti-CD19 1XX CAR iT cells with the addition of a high-affinity non-cleavable CD16 (hnCD16) Fc receptor. The combination of hnCD16 with anti-CD19 1XX CAR culminated in iT cells capable of multi-antigen specificity through combinatorial use with monoclonal antibodies to tackle antigen escape. Utilizing CD19 negative leukemia cells as targets, superior antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) was demonstrated by the combination of hnCD16 CAR iT and Rituximab (% specific cytotoxicity at E:T=1:1, hnCD16 group + Rituximab: 75.64 ± 2.12; control group + Rituximab: 16.98 ± 3.87, P<0.001). To address T cell fitness, the role of CD38 knockout (KO) in T cells was investigated, which we have previously shown to mediate NK cell resistance to oxidative stress induced apoptosis. CD38 gene was disrupted at the iPSC stage to generate 1XX-CAR T cells that lack CD38 expression (% CD38+ population, CD38WT group: 69.67 ± 24.34; CD38KO group: 0.12 ± 0.11) and upon antigen mediated stimulation, CD38KO CAR iT cells showed higher percentages of degranulation (2.3-fold increase in CD107a/b), and IFNγ (4.1-fold increase) and TNFα (2.5-fold increase) production. Antigen specific in vitro tumor killing also was enhanced in CD38KO CAR iT cells (EC50, 3.2-fold decrease). Lastly, to avoid the potential host-mediated rejection, the inclusion of allogeneic defense receptor (ADR) which has been shown to significantly reduce host-mediated rejection will be discussed.
Collectively, the described studies demonstrate that iPSCs are an ideal cellular source to generate large-quantities of uniformly multi-edited off-the-shelf CAR T cell products that include a best-in-class CAR design, enhanced product modalities, and complete elimination of TCR expression to avoid the potential of GvHD while maintaining high anti-tumor efficacy in allogeneic setting.
Disclosures: Hsia: Fate Therapeutics Inc.: Current Employment. Clarke: Fate Therapeutics Inc.: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Lee: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Robbins: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Denholtz: Fate Therapeutics, Inc: Current Employment. Hanok: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Carron: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Navarrete: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. ORourke: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Sung: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Gentile: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Nguyen: Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Valamehr: Fate Therapeutics, Inc: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company.
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