American Association for Cancer Research

Data from High-Specificity CRISPR-Mediated Genome Engineering in Anti-BCMA Allogeneic CAR T Cells Suppresses Allograft Rejection in Preclinical Models

Posted on 2024-04-02 - 07:23

Allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies hold the potential to overcome many of the challenges associated with patient-derived (autologous) CAR T cells. Key considerations in the development of allogeneic CAR T cell therapies include prevention of graft-vs-host disease (GvHD) and suppression of allograft rejection. Here, we describe preclinical data supporting the ongoing first-in-human clinical study, the CaMMouflage trial (NCT05722418), evaluating CB-011 in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. CB-011 is a hypoimmunogenic, allogeneic anti–B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) CAR T cell therapy candidate. CB-011 cells feature 4 genomic alterations and were engineered from healthy donor–derived T cells using a Cas12a CRISPR hybrid RNA–DNA (chRDNA) genome-editing technology platform. To address allograft rejection, CAR T cells were engineered to prevent endogenous HLA class I complex expression and overexpress a single-chain polyprotein complex composed of beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) tethered to HLA-E. In addition, T-cell receptor (TCR) expression was disrupted at the TCR alpha constant locus in combination with the site-specific insertion of a humanized BCMA-specific CAR. CB-011 cells exhibited robust plasmablast cytotoxicity in vitro in a mixed lymphocyte reaction in cell cocultures derived from patients with multiple myeloma. In addition, CB-011 cells demonstrated suppressed recognition by and cytotoxicity from HLA-mismatched T cells. CB-011 cells were protected from natural killer cell–mediated cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo due to endogenous promoter-driven expression of B2M–HLA-E. Potent antitumor efficacy, when combined with an immune-cloaking armoring strategy to dampen allograft rejection, offers optimized therapeutic potential in multiple myeloma.

See related Spotlight by Caimi and Melenhorst, p. 385


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