October 25th, 2011— Takara Bio announces that it has entered into an agreement with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC; New York, US) as of October 25, 2011, under which the company conducts in Japan a clinical research for gene therapy targeting non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in which Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) technology is applied. Based on the agreement, MSKCC’s data and materials relevant to CAR gene therapy will be provided to the company to be used for its planned clinical research in Japan.

 

Since 2007, MSKCC has been conducting in the United States clinical trials of CAR gene therapy for leukemia, in which a CAR targeting CD19, which is a protein expressed on the surface of cancerous B cells, are utilized (“CD19-CAR gene therapy”). In August this year, MSKCC team published in Blood journal an article about encouraging results from the clinical trials, where certain efficacies of the CD19-CAR gene therapy were suggested in three out of eight evaluable patients who received the treatment.

 

Takara Bio will move forward clinical development of CD19-CAR gene therapy targeting non-Hodgkin lymphoma jointly with its endowed chair Division of Immuno- Gene & Cell Therapy (Takara Bio) of Jichi Medical University. The parties will prepare for an application for gene therapy clinical research in Japan by leveraging MSKCC’s data and materials such as the clinical protocol for CD19-CAR trial. Furthermore, the company will manufactures itself a GMP-grade CD19-CAR retrovirus vector for the planned clinical research in by utilizing virus producer cells provided by MSKCC.

 

[ About Takara Bio Inc. ]

Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of the RetroNectin® reagent, which is a world-standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene and cell-based therapy, and agricultural biotechnology; and is committed preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, the Company aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at http://www.takara-bio.com.