BALTIMORE and PHILADELPHIA and IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WindMIL Therapeutics and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) today announced that the first patients have been identified in an investigator-sponsored study for the collection of bone marrow from patients with gliomas. The study will evaluate generating marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for these patients through WindMIL’s proprietary cellular activation and expansion process. The study is being conducted at UCI.
“Patients suffering with glioblastoma are in great need of new, promising treatments that might advance the current standard of care,” said Daniela A. Bota, MD, PhD, director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program, senior associate dean for clinical research, UCI School of Medicine and clinical director, UCI Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. “The University of California, Irvine is excited to play a key role in research that may lead to a clinical trial that enlists the immune system in novel ways to fight this terrible disease.”
Gliomas are the most common of the malignant brain tumors. Glioblastoma, the most common glioma, has a five-year survival of less than 5 percent. Additional treatment options are urgently needed for these patients. Adoptive immunotherapy is a possible approach for gliomas and the use of MILs, a cell therapy that is naturally tumor-specific, is one such treatment option.
The bone marrow is a unique niche in the immune system to which antigen-experienced memory T cells traffic and are then maintained. WindMIL has developed a proprietary process to select, activate and expand these memory T cells into MILs. Because memory T cells in bone marrow occur as a result of the immune system’s recognition of tumor antigens, MILs are specifically suited for adoptive cellular immunotherapy and are able to directly eradicate or facilitate eradication of each patient’s unique cancer. WindMIL is currently studying MILs in multiple myeloma, non-small cell lung cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and plans to expand into other solid tumors.
“WindMIL is looking forward to working with the University of California, Irvine on this exciting project and is optimistic that MILs may offer the potential to help patients with these hard-to-treat diseases,” said Monil Shah, PharmD, MBA, Chief Development Officer at WindMIL.
About WindMIL Therapeutics
WindMIL Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing a novel class of autologous cell therapies based on marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs™) for cancer immunotherapy. As the leader in cellular therapeutics emanating from bone marrow, WindMIL translates novel insights in bone marrow immunology into potentially life-saving cancer immunotherapeutics for patients. WindMIL believes that Cell Source Matters™ and the company’s proprietary process to extract, activate and expand these cells offers unique immunotherapeutic advantages, including inherent poly-antigen specificity, high cytotoxic potential and long persistence. For more information, please visit: www.windmiltx.com.
About UCI Health
UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 417-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the University of California, Irvine
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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