Chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cells (CAR-T cells) have made remarkable strides in the treatment of patients with B cell malignancies exemplified by anti-CD19 CAR-T cells in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). This success however has encountered hurdles in translation across hematological malignancies and even more so in solid tumors.
We welcome proposals aimed at the development of novel CAR-engineered T cell products against solid and/or hematological malignancies. Proposals aimed at overcoming limitations such as tumor selective expression, heterogeneous antigen expression, immunosuppressive networks in the tumor microenvironment, optimal CAR construct, T cell function and persistence, and inadequate trafficking are desired. (Also included in "Regenerative Medicine")
Remarkable new modalities of cancer therapy, like immune checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T cells, have recently been developed and these contrast with traditional cancer therapies. In this category, Takeda are looking for innovative ideas and related technologies for cancer immunotherapy. As CAR-T cell therapy is addressed in an earlier category, in this category we are looking for new proposals that are not related to CAR-T cells but will still lead to differentiation from existing cancer therapies. (Also included in "Regenerative Medicine")
The tumor microenvironment (TME) is characterized by an immunologic milieu that promotes immune escape and suppression. Consequently many patients do not respond to checkpoint therapies, as a result of heightened immunosuppression in the TME. Myeloid cells represent a critical element of this immunosuppressive niche. However, therapies directed at the TME are currently lacking.
We welcome proposals to develop therapeutic strategies targeting myeloid cells or aimed at myeloid re‑education. Bioinformatic approaches such as scRNAseq and/or proteomic datasets of tumor resident myeloid cells is desired. In addition, the ability to test the functional role of candidate proteins with in vitro and in vivo systems such as next generation humanized models is required.
There remains a need for novel targets to deliver more effective treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and hematological malignancies such as AML.
We welcome proposals to identify novel targets in NSCLC and AML. Novel tumor antigens, including stromal antigens, derived from integration of bioinformatic and proteomic datasets of malignant and normal tissues are desired. Profiling of patient samples is preferred; however the utilization of patient-derived xenograft models (PDX) for tumor target ID is also of interest. In addition, the ability to test the functional role of candidate proteins within an immune context with supporting in vivo model systems is required.
Recent advances in therapeutic modalities and drug delivery systems have opened up new treatment options for patients in specific malignancies. However, there remain indications that are hard to treat given the unique tumor architecture or location. For example, pancreatic tumor tissue is composed of several distinctive elements including a collagen-rich, poorly vascularized and highly hypoxic stromal compartment and a sub-population of cells that encompass the tumor microenvironment (TME).
We welcome proposals that aim to systemically deliver novel therapeutics directly to the tumor, TME or specific immune cells such as dendritic cells.
Systems amenable to delivering either chemical or protein payloads are of interest to develop novel and highly effective therapeutic agents that increase the therapeutic index.
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