Kusatsu/Shiga, Japan — April 18, 2019 – Takara Bio Inc. (Takara Bio) announces that it has started the joint research on new development of CAR gene therapy with a group led by Dr. Hiroshi Shiku, Professor at Mie University Graduate School of Medicine (Mie University).


  CAR gene therapy is to take the autologous lymphocytes from a patient, transduce CAR gene boosting the ability to attack cancer, and introduce the CAR-transduced lymphocytes back into the patient. CD19CAR gene therapy known as a kind of CAR gene therapy shows favorable therapeutic efficacy against some blood cancers, and is being processed for marketing approval in the US, Europe and Japan.


  This joint research challenges for CAR gene therapy with focuses on the persistence effect on therapy (relapse prevention) and the expand indications to solid cancer, apart from blood cancer. Specifically, it is performed by the alteration in gene structure related to two functional domains: (i) “antibody” specific to cancer antigen and (ii) “signal transduction” involved in attack capability on the CAR gene, with evaluation in culture cells and/or laboratory animals for the effect. It allows the better understanding of the effect on: (i) antibody domain recognizing CEA (cancer antigen expressed significantly in solid cancer) and (ii) our original technique GITR owned by Takara Bio and Mie University (protein involved in life lengthening of T cells and attack persistence).


  Takara Bio and Mie University have track records in co-developing for NY-ESO-1siTCR™ gene therapy and are going forward in co-developing this CAR gene therapy newly as well.


  Takara Bio is making further efforts to address the unmet medical needs through developing cancer immune and gene therapy such as CAR gene therapy and realizing its commercialization.