Kusatsu/Shiga, Japan — April 15, 2019 – Takara Bio Inc. (Takara Bio) announces that it has started the joint research on novel approach to cancer immune and gene therapy with Dr. Kazuhiro Kakimi, Project Professor at Department of Immunotherapeutics in the 22nd Century Medical and Research Center of The University of Tokyo Hospital.


  The cancer immunity and gene therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that utilizes T cells recognizing antigen on the cell surface via T cell receptor (TCR) and destructing cancer cells. TCR T cells that are genetically engineered to express TCR boosting the ability to attack cancer cells, have given rise to breakthroughs in treating leukemia.


  In developing new cancer immunity and gene therapy, it is a key to be processed: (i) screening for original cancer antigen (Neoantigen) and (ii) isolation of potential TCR to recognize Neoantigen and induction of the immune response.


  Dr. Kakimi and his colleagues who have conducted basic and clinical research for cancer immunotherapy, has a great deal of clinical expertise and analysis technique for cancer cells and T cells, etc. in the field of cancer immunity. In contrast, Takara Bio has a high-throughput Neoantigen analysis technique leveraging SMARTer~{®}  technique to analyze nucleic acid in ultralow level from biological sample as well as TCR generation technique to isolate single cell from lymphocytes accumulated in cancer site using single analysis system SMARTer~{®}  ICELL8~{®}  cx and seek lymphocytes effectively expressing the target TCR.


  This joint research, that Tokyo University is responsible for collecting tissue cells from cancer patients while Takara Bio is responsible for identifying Neoantigen and isolating TCR newly, is proposed for developing technique extensively in the field of cancer immune and gene therapy.


  Takara Bio is developing CDMO business supporting development and production for regenerative medicine products such as cancer immune and gene therapy products, aimed at making social contribution toward realizing cancer immune and gene therapy.