We are creating therapies to enhance the effect, durability and success of cell therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) cell therapies.
CAR-T treatment is a form of immunotherapy that uses genetically altered T cells to fight cancer. It is a transformative approach in treating patients with hard-to-treat cancers, but relapse rates are often high.
Our CAR-T Engager platform is designed to solve specific clinical issues commonly seen in CAR-T therapy, such as:
- Relapses due to antigen loss
- Solid tumor heterogeneity
- CAR-T persistence
We believe that our programs could lead to reduced relapse rates and more successful CAR-T treatments that can extend and improve the lives of patients with cancer.
ALETA-001: A Solution for CD19 Expression Loss
One method of CAR-T cell therapy works by targeting the T cell response against cancer through the engineering of T cells to recognize CD19 proteins on the surface of lymphoma and leukemia cells. CAR-T cell therapy has demonstrated promising results in treating people with blood cancers who are no longer responding to current lines of treatment. However, over half of the patients treated with CD19 CAR-T cell therapy relapse, mostly due to reduction or loss of CD19 expression.
Our lead program ALETA-001 reactivates the CD19 CAR-T cells by effectively ‘recoating’ the cancer cell with the target CD19 proteins and restoring the CAR-T cells ability to recognize and engage the cancer cell. ALETA-001 accomplishes this by binding to CD20 on the tumor cell while presenting the CD19 extracellular domain which is recognized and engaged by circulating CD19 CAR-T cells. This approach is effective since CD20 is commonly expressed on cancer cells but also appears to be more stable than CD19 and its expression is rarely lost.