Collaborations

The research and development of cell therapy products require an exceptional team of people with scientific and clinical expertise across a range of disciplines. We seek to forge collaborations with leading researchers and top medical centers to accelerate the development and rapid translation of our first-in-class product candidates into first-in-human clinical trials. We believe these collaborations will maximize our potential to successfully identify first-in-class product candidates, accelerate our product candidates’ clinical translation and investigation, and efficiently establish first-in-human proof-of-concept for our products.

Additionally, we seek to share our cell programming expertise with industry-leading partners for the development of first-in-class and best-in-class cell products. We believe we are uniquely positioned as the partner of choice to maximize the therapeutic potential of cell therapy products through ex vivo pharmacologic modulation. Additionally, we believe our proprietary iPSC product platform can be deployed in collaboration with strategic partners to create master iPSC lines and co-develop first-of-kind cell therapy products.

Masonic Cancer Center

In July 2015, we entered into a research collaboration with the University of Minnesota led by Jeffrey S. Miller, M.D., Deputy Director of the Masonic Cancer Center and the Deputy Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Minnesota. Under the collaboration, we sought to develop an adaptive memory NK cell therapy. We have now successfully advanced FATE-NK100, our first-in-class NK cell cancer immunotherapy, into first-in-human studies. In February 2017, we expanded our research collaboration to initiate the clinical translation of a first-of-kind product candidate, an off-the-shelf targeted NK cell cancer immunotherapy derived from a master engineered iPSC line.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

In September 2016, we entered into a research collaboration with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center led by Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Cell Engineering and the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, for the development of iPSC-derived T-cell immunotherapies. Through this collaboration, we have amassed significant expertise necessary to develop iPSC-derived T-cell immunotherapies, including the engineering, maintenance and expansion of iPSCs and the derivation of T cells with enhanced safety profiles and effector functions. Our three-year collaboration aims to leapfrog the current patient-specific approach to T-cell immunotherapy by uniting the research, preclinical and manufacturing activities of the two groups.

University of California San Diego

In December 2017, we entered into a two-year research collaboration with University of California San Diego led by Dr. Dan S. Kaufman, a pioneer in the differentiation of iPSCs to NK cells.  The collaborators have identified chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) constructs containing transmembrane and co-stimulatory domains that are optimized for antigen-specific activation and effector function of NK cells.  The specific goals of the collaboration are to develop off-the-shelf, CAR-targeted NK cell cancer immunotherapies using clonal engineered master pluripotent cell lines.

Oslo University Hospital

In January 2017, we entered into a two-year research collaboration with Oslo University Hospital being led by Dr. Karl-Johan Malmberg, a leading expert in NK cell biology and killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors. Our specific goals of this collaboration are to identify NK cell activating receptors that promote persistence and enhanced anti-tumor potency, to engineer these receptors into master iPSC lines, and to create new iPSC-derived NK cell product candidates for development.

Boston Children’s Hospital

In June 2015, we entered into a collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital to accelerate the development of an immuno-regulatory CD34+ cell therapy to treat auto-immune diseases. This collaboration builds upon our identification of a pharmacologic modulator combination, which induces the activation of immuno-regulatory proteins in human CD34+ cells. We have shown that these programmed CD34+ cells traffic to sites of inflammation and suppress activated T cells. Under the collaboration, we seek to investigate the potential of our programmed CD34+ cell therapy product to abrogate auto-immune activity in preclinical models of diseases, including Type 1 diabetes.

Juno Therapeutics

In May 2015, we entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with Juno Therapeutics to identify small molecule modulators to program the therapeutic function of genetically-engineered CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell and TCR (T cell receptor) immunotherapies. The strategic collaboration brings together Juno’s scientific and clinical leadership in CAR T and TCR immunotherapy and our expertise in hematopoietic cell biology and in programming the therapeutic function of immune cells. Under the collaboration, we seek to identify small molecule modulators of immune cells, and Juno is responsible for the development and commercialization of genetically-engineered T-cell immunotherapies incorporating modulators.