July 27th, 2011— Takara Bio Inc. (Takara) and Tianjin Medical University, Cancer Institute and Hospital (TMUCIH) have agreed to enter into a collaboration agreement as of July 27, 2011. This collaboration has the purpose of working together in clinical research of TCR gene therapy against refractory cancer. Both parties wish to start clinical research within two years.
The lymphocytes from patients will be transduced in vitro with the retrovirus vector having the TCR gene, which specifically recognizes the tumor cells. The gene modified lymphocytes will be grown in vitro culture, and then they will be re-infused into patients. These lymphocytes are expected to specifically recognize and attack tumors in the patients.
Takara and Mie University, School of Medicine are now jointly conducting clinical research on TCR gene therapy against refractory esophageal cancer. Takara plans to start the clinical trial in Japan with regard to TCR gene therapy in the fiscal year of 2013. Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg and his colleagues in the U.S. NCI published the results of their clinical trial of TCR gene therapy for melanoma patients in the journal Science in 2006, which reported promising results for this therapy. They employ RetroNectin® in the clinical trial, which was developed by Takara. Since that time, several groups including Dr. Rosenberg’s group have performed clinical trials showing the efficacy of TCR gene therapy for several kinds of cancers in addition to melanoma.
Although Takara is now doing several clinical development projects concerning cancer and AIDS in Japan as well as in the U.S., this is the first gene therapy project in China. Takara is starting up this TCR gene therapy project, and it plans to further expand its business in the field of the cell and gene therapy.
[ 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.