CytoMed Therapeutics, a NASDAQ-listed company (Stock Symbol: GDTC), is at the forefront of a revolution in cellular therapy for cancers. Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the company is pioneering the development of a cell hybrid of the body’s two most important types of innate immune cells – natural killer (NK) cell and gamma delta T cell. This innovative combination results in a new type of synthetic cells known as the iPSC-derived gamma delta NKT cells, which holds immense potential for treating a wide variety of cancers.
The Innovation of iPSC-derived Gamma Delta NKT Cell Technology
Human pluripotent stem cells, particularly iPSCs, are emerging as a valuable and standardizable starting material to produce cell therapy products. CytoMed Therapeutics has demonstrated its expertise in using pluripotent stem cells to generate therapeutic cells of various types, including cardiomyocytes, neurons, and dendritic cells. Recently, the company has also successfully reprogrammed peripheral blood cells including gamma delta T cells into iPSCs using a nonviral episomal method and transformed such derived iPSCs into NK cells and the proprietary gamma delta NKT cells for cancer treatment (Figure 1).
To develop a clinically potent and commercially viable cell-based immunotherapy for cancers, both the product features and its manufacturing need to be taken into consideration. The iPSC-derived gamma delta NKT cell technology is a groundbreaking approach in the field of immunotherapy. The innovation lies in the unique design of manufacturing scheme, which leverages the power of iPSC generation and differentiation technologies to manufacture a product with unique cancer recognition capabilities (Figure 1).
Among the innate immune cells, gamma delta T cells and NK cells have an array of built-in receptors to recognize cancers, including solid tumors (Figure 2). This cancer recognition system possesses several unique features including (1) proven safety – these receptors are constantly employed in immunosurveillance of transformed cells without causing issue to normal cells, (2) pattern recognition – these receptors recognize an array of multiple antigens instead of single antigen, (3) targeting essential antigens – these receptors recognize indispensable hallmarks of cancer cells instead of those lineage-specific markers, and (4) targeting ubiquitous antigens – these receptors recognize antigens expressing in various cancers. Hence, integrating this cancer recognition system of gamma delta T cells and NK cells into gamma delta NKT cells may not only enhance the product potency but also broadens the indication spectrum (Figure 2). Indeed, such benefits have already been proven in in vitro studies, which suggest that gamma delta NKT cells can recognize and kill a broad spectrum of cancer (Figure 3).
The Potential Impact of iPSC-derived Gamma Delta NKT Cell Technology
Currently, most technologies for manufacturing cell therapy products are restricted by the “one product, one patient, one indication” approach. The resulting product is highly personalized and “narrow-spectrum”, which may only be used to treat a certain patient for a certain indication. The importance of iPSC-derived gamma delta NKT cell technology lies in its potential to revolutionize immune cell-based cancer treatment. Gamma delta NKT cell utilizes an array of innate immune cell receptors to recognize and target an array of essential and ubiquitous antigens of cancers. Hence, unlike existing technologies, the gamma delta NKT cell technology may provide a “one product, many patients, many indications” approach to manufacture a single product that is “broad-spectrum” to treat a wide range of cancers in a large pool of cancer patients. Developing such a novel product is both scientifically exciting and economically interesting.
Furthermore, the gamma delta NKT cell technology is based on iPSCs, which allows modification at iPSC level to achieve functional enhancement in gamma delta NKT cells when necessary. The flexibility of such technology and the potency and versatility of gamma delta NKT cells should be of great interest to industries, who are looking for novel technology platform to develop targeting cell therapy products for cancers. A patent has been granted in Japan for the iPSC-derived gamma delta NKT cell technology, which may further facilitate industrial development.
In conclusion, CytoMed Therapeutics’ iPSC-derived gamma delta NKT cell technology represents a significant step forward in the field of cellular therapy for cancers. Its innovative approach, which integrates the cancer recognition capabilities of human’s two most important types of innate immune cells into a novel type of artificial cells, holds immense potential for treating a wide variety of cancers. As the technology continues to be developed and refined, it could revolutionize the way we approach cancer treatment, offering hope to countless patients around the world.
To Visualize These Powerful Cells in Action Visit www.cytomed.sg
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