Pharma Focus Asia

Coeptis Therapeutics Enters Exclusive License Agreement with University of Pittsburgh for Rights to SNAP-CAR, a "Multi-Antigen" CAR T Technology

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Coeptis Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cell therapy platforms for cancer, today announced entry into an exclusive license agreement with the University of Pittsburgh for the rights to a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) technology – SNAP-CAR – designed to target multiple antigens simultaneously and potentially address a range of hematologic and solid tumors, including breast and ovarian cancer. Completion of the exclusive license agreement for SNAP-CAR follows Coeptis' entry into an option agreement with the University of Pittsburgh announced in May 2022.

Current CAR T therapies are designed to target specific tumor antigens that correspond to a specific cancer indication. This approach has proven effective in certain cancer types but limits the applicability of those CAR T therapies. SNAP-CAR is designed to be a "universal" CAR T cell therapy platform that can be adapted to different cancer indications. Instead of directly binding to a target on the tumor cell, CAR T cells are co-administered with one or more antibody adaptors that bind to the tumor cells and are fitted with a chemical group that irreversibly connects them to the SNAP-CAR on the therapeutic cells via a covalent bond. Pre-clinical studies in mice have demonstrated that by targeting tumors via antibody adaptor molecules, the SNAP-CAR therapy provides a highly programmable therapeutic platform.

"SNAP-CAR T cells can be engineered to address numerous cancers, including solid tumors, while providing researchers with the ability to rapidly screen multiple antibody candidates without the need to generate individual receptors," said Jason Lohmueller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery and Immunology in the Division of Surgical Oncology Research at the University of Pittsburgh. "Additionally, SNAP-CAR may offer the potential to mitigate the toxicity of CAR T therapy by allowing clinicians to control the adaptor dose. Further, the ability to combine SNAP-CAR T cells with antibodies targeting multiple antigens offers the potential to reduce the likelihood of cancer relapse," said Alex Deiters, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh.

"SNAP-CAR represents a potential breakthrough in CAR T approaches and a significant addition to Coeptis' expanding cell therapy product portfolio," said Dave Mehalick, President and CEO of Coeptis Therapeutics. "Research at the University of Pittsburgh suggests that SNAP-CAR offers an opportunity to direct the power of CAR T to an array of cancers that have, until now, been inaccessible via current cell therapy technologies by providing a highly programmable antigen targeting platform. It is believed that SNAP-CAR could enable the development of CAR T therapies for many hematologic cancers as well as several types of solid tumors, including breast and ovarian cancer."

Mr. Mehalick concluded: "Our vision at Coeptis is to be at the forefront of developing the next-generation cell therapy technologies, and we believe the advancements at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as those at VyGen-Bio, are potentially groundbreaking."

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