Our Proprietary CID Technology Platform
We are developing next-generation product candidates in some of the most important areas of cellular immunotherapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), CAR T cell therapy, and TCR cell therapy.
Our proprietary CID technology platform was designed to address the challenges of current cellular immunotherapies by enabling control over cellular activities and functions, such as growth, activation, proliferation and cell death. Our CID platform consists of molecular switches—modified forms of signaling proteins— which are triggered inside the patient by infusion of small molecule rimiducid, instead of by natural upstream signals. Our current product candidates are based on either a “safety switch,” or an “activation switch.” After rimiducid is administered, the “safety switch” is designed to lead to programmed cell death, or apoptosis, and the “activation switch” is designed to lead to proliferation and/or activation and/or persistence of immune cells.
Rimiducid has been designed to bind to a specifically designed domain of CID switch proteins. Once introduced, rimiducid couples, or dimerizes, CID switch proteins together to create a cluster that triggers the signaling cascade. Aside from its impact on CID-modified immune cells bearing switch proteins, rimiducid has no other known effect on the body.
Our proprietary CID-based product candidates depend on the following cell-signaling molecules:
- Caspase-9: Signaling Molecule for Apoptosis. Caspase-9 is the initiating enzyme in the apoptosis pathway. When activated, caspase-9 starts a signaling cascade, including the activation of caspase-3, which ultimately leads to apoptosis, a non-inflammatory process of cell elimination.
- MyD88/CD40: Signaling Molecules for Activation and Proliferation. Myeloid differentiation primary response gene, or MyD88, is a protein that has functions in cellular responses to stimuli such as stress, cytokines and bacteria or viruses. CD40 is a co-stimulatory protein found on antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells and B cells and is required for their activation. Although the effects of MyD88 and CD40 have been studied previously in dendritic cell therapies, our novel approach applies them to T-cell based immunotherapies.
Our Proprietary Switch Technologies
With the CID platform as the foundation, we have created different molecular switch technologies customized for specific cellular immunotherapy approaches and therapeutic indications.
We have developed the following technologies that incorporate our safety switch:
- CaspaCIDe is our safety switch, incorporated into our HSCT and TCR product candidates, where it is inactive unless the patient experiences a serious side effect. In that event, rimiducid is administered to fully or partially eliminate the cells, with the goal of terminating or attenuating the therapy and resolving the serious side effect.
- GoCAR-T consists of CAR T cells that are modified to include the proprietary dual co-stimulatory domain, MC. MC is structured in GoCAR-T as a molecular switch, separate from the chimeric antigen receptor, which itself contains no co-stimulatory domains. GoCAR-T is designed to allow control of the activation and proliferation of the CAR T cells through the scheduled administration of a course of rimiducid infusions that may continue until the desired patient outcome is achieved. In the event of emergence of side effects, the level of activation of the GoCAR-T cells is designed to be attenuated by reducing the rimiducid administration schedule.
The table below summarizes our key switch technologies.