ImmuniCell® is TCB’s lead product currently going through an adaptive phase II/III in clinical trial approved by MHRA UK. The clinical trial of ImmuniCell® treatment for patients with Melanoma (skin), Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (NSCLC) (lung) and Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) (kidney) is an adaptive, open label trial and is designed to identify an optimal, safe dose for future clinical trials, to identify a response signal from at least one of the cancers under investigation as well as to confirm safety and efficacy.
ImmuniCell® is a cell therapy product that utilises Gamma delta (γδ) T cells to treat cancer. Gamma delta T cells are one of the body’s first line of defence as they possess an inherent ability to target and destroy cancerous and infected cells. Gamma delta Τ cells can distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells by sensing stress signals specifically expressed by cancer cells.
An example of these stress signals are a group of small molecules collectively called phosphoantigens that are specifically overproduced by transformed cells. Gamma delta T cells can sense this overproduction, get activated and kill the cancer cells. In addition to directly killing cancer and infected cells, Gamma delta T cells can produce chemical mediators that can boost the function of other immune cells, locally and systemically.
The value of Gamma delta T cells as an immune therapy was demonstrated by recent studies that revealed that patients whose tumours were infiltrated by Gamma delta Τ cells had the most favourable prognosis relative to patients whose tumours were infiltrated by other immune cells (1). Furthermore, unlike conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, no serious adverse effects have been linked to Gamma delta T cell therapy to date, with promising clinical results (2–4).
ImmuniCell® is an autologous cell therapy. This means that the starting material for the manufacture of ImmuniCell® is the patient’s own white blood cells which are collected using a procedure called leukapheresis. Once collected, the patient’s cells are isolated, cryopreserved and then expanded in culture for 14 days. This results in a highly enriched Gamma delta T cell population that is administrated back to the patient. All production and quality control of ImmuniCell® takes place in TCB’s state of the art manufacturing facilities in Scotland.
For further information on the clinical trial see:
ImmuniCell®: Using patient’s own Gamma delta T cells to treat cancer
- Gentles, A. J. et al. The prognostic landscape of genes and infiltrating immune cells across human cancers. Nat. Med. 21, 938–945 (2015).
- Buccheri, S., Guggino, G., Caccamo, N., Li Donni, P. & Dieli, F. Efficacy and safety of γδT cell-based tumor immunotherapy: a meta-analysis. J. Biol. Regul. Homeost. Agents 28, 81–90 (2014).
- Fisher, J. P., Heuijerjans, J., Yan, M., Gustafsson, K. & Anderson, J. 1-γδ T cells for cancer immunotherapy: A systematic review of clinical trials. Oncoimmunology 3, e27572 (2014).
- Kakimi, K., Matsushita, H., Murakawa, T. & Nakajima, J. γδ T cell therapy for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Transl. Lung Cancer Res. 3, 23–33 (2014).