Our therapies are focused on leveraging the inherent biological capabilities of gamma delta T cells (GDT cells) together with an integrated cell engineering approach. GDT cells are a component of the lymphocytes (white blood cells) present within all humans, representing approximately 1-5% of the circulating population. As part of the immune system's innate response, their natural properties make them promising therapeutic candidates. This review demonstrates the historical work on GDT cell therapies, and the promise offered by combinations or modifying them with transgenes.
GDT cells constantly monitor the body for signs of biological stress, such as cancerous or infected cells, and are one of the first lines of defense against disease. They do this by detecting changes in the cells, mediated by a complex series of events, but the effect of which is common across all cancers and infections.
An analysis of gene expression from 18,000 individual tumors from 39 different malignancies showed that GDT cells were the infiltrating immune cells most likely to be associated with positive outcomes. Researchers have shown that there are various types of GDT cells, all with slightly differing properties. At TC BioPharm we are fascinated by the power of all subtypes and are actively developing drugs based on the ethos of using the subtype which is best equipped to fight the particular disease.
Advantages of using GDT Cells as a Cell Therapy Vehicle
- They are naturally cytotoxic via a number of different mechanisms.
- They activate a wider immune response through antigen presentation and cytokine/chemokine release.
- They are completely safe for healthy cells and will not kill them, even when introduced at very high numbers.
- They are primed to infiltrate tissue, seeking sites of cellular stress and are biologically equipped to enter, reside and survive in a hostile tumor environment.
- The GDT cell receptor is not MHC-restricted. This means that if GDT cells from a donor are transferred to a patient, the GDT cells don’t recognize the patient’s body as foreign and don’t cause graft versus host disease (GvHD). This makes them ideal for allogeneic “off the shelf” therapies.
- They can be gathered from healthy donors, expanded to very high numbers, banked and frozen, using our validated GMP methods, providing a readily available starting material for manufacturing multiple products.