Advertisement

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent for Genetically Modified Human Immune Cells for Cancer Therapy

Advertisement

Key Points

  • St. Jude’s chimeric antigen receptor targets CD19 antigens that cause B-cell malignancies.
  • Because of the extraordinary potential of the technology for widespread use, St. Jude will make the technology available for license.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office today awarded St. Jude Children's Research Hospital U.S. patent number 8,399,645 for its invention of compositions for genetically modifying human immune cells so they can destroy some of the most common forms of cancer in children and adults.

"This groundbreaking invention enables human immune cells to recognize and attack certain cells that cause leukemia and lymphoma," said James R. Downing, MD, St. Jude Scientific Director.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor

The patented technology represents a potentially potent new therapeutic weapon against B-cell malignancies such as such acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Each year approximately 71,650 people in the United States are diagnosed with these diseases.

The invention involves genetically modifying human immune cells to enable them to manufacture a large protein molecule known as a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). The CAR invented by St. Jude fits and latches onto CD19 antigens prevalent on the B cells that cause ALL, CLL, and NHL. It then stimulates the human immune cell to attack and kill the B cells.

Landmark Patent

"This exciting invention provides a new and promising treatment option for children and adults with these life-threatening diseases and sets the stage for treating other forms of cancer with cellular immunotherapy," Dr. Downing said.

In view of the landmark nature of the patent and the extraordinary potential of the technology for widespread use, St. Jude will make the technology available for license.

The research that led to this patent was supported in part by a grant (CA 58297) from the National Institutes of Health. Today's patent is part of St. Jude's intellectual property portfolio that includes more than 100 issued U.S. patents.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


Advertisement

Advertisement



Advertisement