University-Industry Engagement Week

Pitt signs sponsored research deal with Coeptis Therapeutics to advance SNAP-CAR cancer therapy

By David Schwartz
Published: February 7th, 2023

The University of Pittsburgh has signed a sponsored research agreement with Coeptis Therapeutics Holdings, Inc., a biopharma company developing cell therapy platforms for cancer, to advance pre-clinical development of SNAP-CAR T cells targeting HER2 as well as identify opportunities to expand the applicability of SNAP-CAR in oncology. The SNAP-CAR technology, which Coeptis licensed from Pitt in an earlier transaction, is a multi-antigen chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) technology that can be adapted to different cancer indications, including hematologic and solid tumors. 

Under the agreement, Pitt researchers will conduct pre-clinical studies on the SNAP-CAR technology with a goal of enabling an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for clinical trials targeting HER2-positive cancers. The research will be led principal investigator Jason Lohmueller, PhD, assistant professor of surgery and immunology, and Alexander Deiters, PhD, professor of chemistry. They’ll work in concert with Coeptis’ CRO partner, IQVIA, to develop a treatment strategy for ovarian cancer (or other solid tumors) in animals and identify a lead candidate for first-in-human clinical development. HER2 is a tumor-associated antigen that is overexpressed in approximately 28% of ovarian cancer cases and 25% of patients with breast cancer.

“We are very excited to continue our work with the University of Pittsburgh to advance the development of SNAP-CAR towards a potential first indication: HER2-expressing ovarian cancer,” said Dave Mehalick, Coeptis president and CEO. “If successful, this could represent a potential breakthrough in the treatment of HER2-positive cancers and the applicability of CAR T to treat a range of solid tumors, including ovarian and breast cancer, as well as hematologic cancers.”

“Current CAR T therapies are designed to target specific tumor antigens that correspond to a specific cancer indication. This approach has proven effective in certain cancer types but limits the applicability of those CAR T therapies,” said Dr. Lohmueller. “SNAP-CAR has been designed as a ‘universal’ CAR T cell therapy platform that can be adapted to different tumor antigens and cancer indications. We are eager to work with the teams at Coeptis and IQVIA to begin the pre-clinical development of a potential lead candidate targeting HER2-positive ovarian cancer, as well as optimizing the platform to increase its value potential.”

Source: Cision

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week