C3i Center Inc. Supports the Manufacturing of the First Canadian-Made CAR-T Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Solid Tumours
An innovative treatment for advanced metastatic HER2-positive tumours has been administered to the first patient in a phase I/II clinical trial. The investigational T-cell antigen coupler adoptive immunotherapy, TAC01-HER2 will be given to as many as 70 patients in the TACTIC-2 trial, which is enrolling patients initially at three locations in the U.S.
Developed by Hamilton, Ontario- and Austin, Texas-based Triumvira Immunologics Inc., TAC01-HER2 is very much a Canadian success story C3i is proud to play a role in.
The company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Jonathan Bramson at McMaster University and Bloom Burton & Co., with the vision of developing novel T cell therapies that are safer and more efficacious than current cancer treatments, including chimeric antigen receptor and engineered T cell receptor therapies.
C3i supported Triumvira’s technology evolution from preclinical studies (scale-up and manufacturing at C3i’s manufacturing unit) to clinical trials through strategic investment, including contributions to a $55 million Series A financing round led by Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment unit of Bayer AG, and Northpond Ventures in 2020.
C3i provides industry partners access to a state-of-the art GMP cell manufacturing facility in Montreal, QC and is supplying the TACTIC-2 trial with TAC01-HER2 using Lonza’s proprietary Cocoon® Platform – an automated and closed platform for patient-scale cell therapy manufacturing, designed to overcome manufacturing challenges associated with patient-scale personalized medicines. The trial represents the first time a Cocoon® has been used in clinical production in Canada.
“C3i Center Inc. is founded on the principle that Canadian breakthroughs in cell and gene therapy for serious diseases like cancer should remain in Canada for the benefit of our health and economy,” CEO Louisa Petropoulos says. “Experimental treatments like TAC01-HER2 and others like it won’t become a reality unless we can produce and refine cells quickly, reliably and affordably, and that is what an automated closed system like the Cocoon® Platform brings to the table. It’s a welcome addition to our cutting-edge cell manufacturing operations, and we look forward to using it in future clinical trials.”