Pharma Focus Asia

Thyas Obtains Exclusive Rights to Manufacture Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells-Derived Killer T Cells for Autologous Immunotherapy

Monday, January 21, 2019

Thyas Co. Ltd. (Thyas) signed a licensing agreement with iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (iPS-AJ), a technology licensing organization of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell related-patents from Kyoto University. Under the agreement, Thyas obtains exclusive rights on patents related to production and use of iPS cell-derived T cells, and non-exclusive rights on the patents related to iPS cell generation, for development and commercialization of autologous immunotherapy of cancers and infectious diseases. Thyas will pay ongoing licensing fees to iPS-AJ. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The method to generate highly antigen specific iPSC-derived killer T cells is established by Dr. Shin Kaneko, an associate professor and a leading scientist of immunotherapy using iPSC-derived killer T cells, in Center for iPS cell Research and Application, Kyoto University.  The iPSC technology allows Thyas to stably supply a large quantity of tumor-specific or virus-specific T cells that have high proliferative capacity and potent killing activity.  As of today, no other method produces highly antigen specific iPSC-derived killer T cells.

Novel immunotherapies have demonstrated significant benefits to cancer patients, however, the use of those is limited due to severe adverse events and therapy resistance. Thyas iPS-derived T cell products are expected to be safe and highly effective to many patients with cancers and infectious diseases. Therefore, the approach has a great clinical advantage.

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