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Turnstone Biologics Acquires Myst Therapeutics, Plans to Advance TIL Candidate Into Clinic This Year

NEW YORK – Privately held biotech Turnstone Biologics on Wednesday announced its acquisition of Myst Therapeutics, a company developing tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapies for solid cancers.

The acquisition will allow Turnstone, located in New York and Canada, to expand its pipeline of investigational cancer therapies by incorporating Myst's TIL therapy platform. California-based Myst has designed its TIL platform to select reactive T cells from patients' tumors and peripheral blood, rejuvenate and grow these cells, and reinfuse them with the goal of targeting and eradicating the cancer cells. According to Turnstone, Myst's lead TIL candidate is expected to enter the clinic this year.

"Myst has created an industry-best selection strategy for identifying, expanding and stimulating antigen-reactive T-cells in a patient’s tumor," Mike Burgess, Turnstone's president of R&D, said in a statement. "It represents the most straight-line solution for broadening the benefit of TILs to other solid tumor indications while maintaining commercial feasibility. We are excited to advance this technology both independently and in combination with our viral immunotherapies."

Though Turnstone did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition, the firm said that much of Myst's talent will be carried over, including Myst CEO, TJ Langer, who will join Turnstone as senior VP of cell therapy development and external innovation.