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Eureka Therapeutics Licenses Antibody From NCI to Develop Mesothelin-Targeting Cell Therapy

NEW YORK – Eureka Therapeutics said on Tuesday that it has inked a licensing deal with the National Cancer Institute to develop and commercialize a T-cell therapy for mesothelin-expressing cancer cells.

Eureka will license a novel mesothelin-targeting antibody from the NCI, which it will use together with its Artemis T-cell receptor platform to create a therapy that combines an antibody-based antigen-binding domain and an effector domain. Eureka designed the platform to develop therapies from patients' harvested T cells that have better tumor infiltration, safety, and T-cell persistence than autologous CAR T-cell therapies.

Emeryville, California-based Eureka Therapeutics plans to continue preclinical development of the mesothelin-targeting antibody to support an investigational new drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration, in turn allowing the firm to evaluate the therapy in mesothelin-expressing solid tumors, potentially including ovarian, pancreatic, breast, and lung cancers as well as mesothelioma.

"The license of NCI's mesothelin-targeting antibody highlights our commitment to advancing promising cancer therapies," Ira Pastan, the chief emeritus of the laboratory of molecular biology and head of the molecular biology section at the NCI Center for Cancer Research, said in a statement. "Such partnerships have the potential to bring transformative therapies to patients."

Eureka Therapeutics has also used its Artemis platform to develop ET140203 Artemis, its investigational treatment for patients with alpha-fetoprotein-positive, HLA-A2-positive advanced liver cancer, as well as ECT204, its investigational treatment for patients with GPC3-positive advanced liver cancer.