Sana Biotechnology (SANA) Presents Preclinical Data at American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021

April 9, 2021 9:02 AM EDT

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Sana Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ: SANA), a company focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines, today announced data from its T cell programs are being presented at the virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.

Sana is investing in multiple platform technologies to engineer cells, and several of these have the potential to address unmet needs for patients with cancer. Two of these platforms are highlighted in posters to be presented at AACR. Sana’s fusogen platform has the potential to deliver genetic payloads to specific cells in vivo, or inside a patient’s body, including delivery to T cells of the gene needed to make a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Sana’s hypoimmune platform has the potential to enable transplants of allogeneic cells without immunosuppression, including allogeneic CAR T cells.

“We are excited to share data for the first time at AACR, as we are optimistic that Sana’s platforms can be applied to help cancer patients,” said Steve Harr, MD, Sana’s President and CEO. “CAR T cells have shown enormous potential for certain cancer patients, and Sana’s goal is to make better and more accessible CAR T therapies so that more patients can benefit.”

“The data presented in these abstracts highlight the potential of our fusogen and hypoimmune platforms to make high quality, functional CAR T cells without the logistical complexities of autologous CAR T cell therapies,” said Terry Fry, MD, Sana’s Head of T Cell Therapeutics. “The goal of our CD8-targeted fusogen program is to deliver the CAR gene directly to the T cell in vivo, and our data highlight the potential of these genetically modified CAR T cells to kill tumors. Separately, we modify gene expression in donor T cells to create hypoimmune allogeneic CAR T cells, and data highlight the potential of these cells to evade both the innate and adaptive immune systems while retaining anti-tumor effects. These results represent important progress in validating Sana’s platforms as we continue towards the clinic.”

Data from two late-breaker abstracts were made available to the AACR community today and are outlined below. The full posters will be available to conference participants online beginning Saturday, April 10 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

In vivo CAR T therapy: targeted in vivo gene delivery of a CAR using a CD8-specific fusogen results in tumor eradication Authors: Terry Fry, MD et al.

Key takeaways include:

  • A single intravenous delivery of a CD8 fusogen containing a second-generation CD19 CAR transgene resulted in the generation of CD8 CAR Ts that eradicated the CD19+ tumor xenografts;
  • CD8 fusogen delivery resulted in a high percentage of T cells engineered to express the CAR with specificity for the CD8+ cells; and
  • The fusogen was able to generate a functional CAR response regardless of prior activation status of the T cells.

Overexpression of CD47 protects hypoimmune CAR T cells from innate immune cell killing Authors: Sonja Schrepfer, MD, PhD et al.

Key takeaways include:

  • Innate immune cell assays show that CD47 overexpression protects HLA-I/II deficient CAR T cells from natural killer cell and macrophage killing both in vitro and in vivo;
  • Hypoimmunogenic CAR T cells have shown the ability to functionally evade the innate and adaptive immune system in allogeneic recipients with cytotoxic anti-tumor capacity; and
  • Hypoimmune CAR T cells have the potential to provide universal CAR T cells that are able to persist without immunosuppression.

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