Verismo Therapeutics Announces Research Partnership with the University of Pennsylvania

Written by: Editor
Published on: 21 Jun 2022

Verismo TherapeuticsSponsored Research Agreement (SRA) with Penn advances multichain KIR-CAR platform targeting solid tumors

PHILADELPHIA, June 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Verismo Therapeutics, a recent University of Pennsylvania spin-out company behind the novel KIR-CAR platform technology for CAR T-cells, today announces that Penn and Verismo entered into a Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA). Under the SRA, Verismo is funding additional KIR-CAR T-cell focused preclinical research programs at Penn to advance new potential treatment options for solid tumor indications. The research funded under the SRA is expected to be conducted over four years, from 2021 to 2025, in the Penn laboratories of Michael C. Milone, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Donald L. Siegel, MD, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Milone, with Dr. Carl June, is the co-inventor of the CTL019 CAR T product that became the first FDA-approved CAR T cell therapy, and he is the lead inventor of the KIR-CAR technology. Under the SRA, Dr. Milone and his lab are working to advance the KIR-CAR platform engineering and are performing key preclinical research for the purpose of enabling an IND for future clinical studies involving the KIR-CAR platform.

Dr. Siegel is a leading innovator in phage display technology. Under the SRA, Dr. Siegel and his lab are utilizing this technology to generate novel antibodies to cancer targets, which will expand Verismo's product pipeline and potentially enable the treatment of additional tumor indications.

"Our ongoing collaboration with Penn brings us closer to our goal to treat solid tumors. Dr. Milone and Dr. Siegel have a clear vision of what scientific advances are needed to advance our progress and pipelines. I am hopeful that the collaboration between Penn and Verismo will accelerate the development of the KIR-CAR therapy and ultimately bring a new much needed treatment option to patients with solid tumors," said Dr. Bryan Kim, CEO of Verismo.

Editor's Note: Drs. June, Milone, Siegel, and Penn are equity holders in Verismo. Penn has licensed certain Penn-owned intellectual property to Verismo and Drs. June, Milone, and Siegel, along with Penn, may receive financial benefits under the license in the future. Penn's Perelman School of Medicine receives sponsored research funding from Verismo to support certain research and development programs at Penn.

ABOUT VERISMO THERAPEUTICS

Verismo Therapeutics is a pioneer in dual-chain KIR-CAR T technology, on track to bring its first asset into first-in-human clinical trials in 2023. Verismo is the only company developing the KIR-CAR platform, a modified NK-like receptor designed to improve persistence and efficacy against aggressive solid tumors. The KIR-CAR platform technology was developed specifically for advanced solid tumors, an area of high unmet medical need. For more information, visit: www.verismotherapeutics.com 

ABOUT KIR-CAR PLATFORM 

The KIR-CAR platform is a dual-chain CAR T cell therapy and has been shown in preclinical models to be capable of maintaining antitumor T-cell activity even in challenging solid tumor environments. Based on natural killer cell receptors, KIR-CAR provides a natural on-and-off stimulation to the T-cell, without triggering T cell exhaustion. DAP12 costimulatory chains aid additional T-cell stimulating pathways, further improving cell persistence. This continued function and persistence can lead to ongoing regression of solid tumors in preclinical models, including those refractory to traditional CAR T-cell therapies. Furthermore, the KIR-CAR platform can be combined with many additional emerging technologies, such as in-vivo gene editing, advanced T cell selection, combination therapies, and even allogeneic cellular therapies to provide an adaptable tumor-targeting therapy for patients in need.