Alaunos Therapeutics (TCRT) announced that they have extended its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an institute of the National Institutes of Health, using their Sleeping Beauty technology through January 2025, explains John McCamant, editor of The Medical Technology Stock Letter

Research conducted under the CRADA will be led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Surgery Branch at the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research.  Rosenberg is without question a true thought leader and long been associated with the best cutting edge immune oncology being used to tackle cancer and create potential cures for decades.

Under the terms of the CRADA, the NCI will work to generate proof of concept utilizing the Company’s proprietary non-viral Sleeping Beauty technology for personalized TCR-T cell therapy. In this setting, T-cell receptors (TCRs) that react to the patient’s tumor will be identified from the patient and used to generate a TCR-T cell therapy.

This approach could potentially apply to a wide range of solid tumor cancer patients. TCRT believes that the non-viral Sleeping Beauty technology could rapidly and cost effectively produce safe and potent TCR-T cell therapies without the complexity of gene editing or viral approaches.

Drew Deniger, VP of R&D, is a former protégée of Dr. Rosenberg and worked with him for years before coming to Alaunos to transform Rosenberg’s NCI work into the commercial market. Dr. Rosenberg is confident that his team at the NCI will be successful in developing personalized TCR-T therapies using TCRT’s non-viral Sleeping Beauty technology. 

We also expect the CRADA with the NCI and Dr. Rosenberg to add to the company’s TCR Library of hotspots and eventually we would expect TCRT to expand their clinical trials to the NCI in Bethesda. 

We would also point to the potential of the KRAS hotspot which is being targeted in the first treated patient.  We continue to expect data from this first treated patient in the fourth quarter and positive data would serve as a significant catalyst for the stock.

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