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March Biosciences Nabs $13.4 CPRIT Grant to Advance CAR T-Cell Therapy

NEW YORK – March Biosciences on Friday said it will use a $13.4 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to develop a CAR T-cell therapy, dubbed MB-105, to treat relapsed or refractory CD5-positive T-cell cancers.

The Houston-based firm, which spun out of Baylor College of Medicine, is evaluating both allogeneic and autologous versions of MB-105 in a Phase I clinical trial involving patients with T-cell lymphoma and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. To join the trial, patients need to have CD5-positive cancers, defined as greater than 50 percent CD5-positive blasts according to flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry testing.

March Biosciences plans to put the CPRIT grant toward launching a Phase II clinical trial of MB-105 in 2024. The firm believes that its cell therapy can preserve healthy CD5-positive T cells while attacking malignant CD5-positive T cells. According to the firm, the approach has demonstrated encouraging safety and early efficacy.

"We expect that receipt of this substantial non-dilutive award from CPRIT will serve as a catalyst to our current financing activities and allow us to continue to move quickly to advance MB-105 as a novel treatment for patients seeking better options," March Biosciences Cofounder and CEO Sarah Hein said in a statement.