Pharma Focus Asia

Turnstone Biologics Announces TIL Therapy Research Collaboration with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Turnstone Biologics Corp., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (“TIL”) therapy and viral immunotherapy designed to treat and cure solid tumors, today announced a research collaboration with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre [Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, (“CRCHUM”)], to drive advancements in TIL therapy using tumor-reactive T-cells. The goal of the collaboration is to identify genome alterations and tumor-specific antigens from different tumor types and to further streamline the process for identification, direct selection and expansion of Turnstone’s tumor-reactive TILs, with the potential to expand this work into future clinical trials at CRCHUM.

Dr. Simon Turcotte, associate professor of surgery at the Université de Montréal and lead of CRCHUM’s adoptive T-cell cancer immunotherapy program, has agreed to spearhead the collaboration research efforts and plans to provide key access to tumor and blood derivatives essential to conduct this research. Dr. Turcotte completed his medical and surgical training at the Université de Montréal, his post-doctoral research training on TIL immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, in the laboratory of Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, and a hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgical oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.

“Considering all the different types of T-cell-based immunotherapies being studied to treat advanced solid cancers, TILs have shown the best potential for efficacy to date. This collaboration between CRCHUM and Turnstone Biologics, the first of its kind in Canada, engages us on the exciting path of developing next-generation TILs aimed at better recognizing cancer cells,” said Dr. Turcotte. “By bringing together CRCHUM’s unique capabilities with Turnstone’s technology platform, and by applying our own complementary cell therapy research efforts, we see significant potential to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients.”

“Our TIL platform has transformative potential across a wide range of solid tumors,” said Stewart Abbot, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Turnstone. “Establishing this collaboration with Dr. Turcotte and CRCHUM is a tremendous opportunity to advance our vision to unlock the full potential of TILs. We continue to seek innovative technologies and the field’s best minds in support of our development programs. We believe Dr. Turcotte’s extensive expertise and our combined scientific team will allow us to accelerate the development of our tumor-reactive selected TIL product candidates and lead to more effective medicines.”

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