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JANUARY, 2018

Cognos’ SINNAIS Smart Implantable Pump has potential to Improve CAR T Cell Efficacy in Solid Tumors

Cognos Therapeutics (Cognos Thx) is exploring the potential of using its SINNAIS implantable pump as the delivery mechanism for a new drug therapy being used to combat leukemia. According to the most recent statistics from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Leukemia accounts for more than 10% of the 1.5 million cancer diagnosis in the US. Survival of this deadly disease is equally as grim with Leukemia accounting for 9.2% of the 600,920 cancer deaths in 2017.

Treatment for the most part has depended on traditional cancer therapeutics such as chemotherapy, and radiation. More recently, targeted chemotherapeutics such as Gleevec® and Herceptin®, along with biological immunotherapies and stem cell replacement therapies have been brought online with varying degrees of success.

One of the most promising breakthroughs in translational therapy of leukemia is CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T cell therapy. Clinical data to date has been very positive. In one of the early trials conducted by Stephan Grupp, M.D., Ph.D., of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, CD19-targeted CAR T cells  were used on 30 children and young adult patients who had recurrent Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) that were not responding to existing therapies. After administration of the treatment all signs of cancer disappeared, a complete response, in 27 of the 30 patients, with many of these patients continuing to show no signs of recurrence long after the treatment.

In another larger study funded by Novartis, a CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapy, called tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah™), for children and adolescents with (ALL) was conducted. Many of the patients who participated in the trial had complete and long-lasting remissions. Similar results have been seen in trials of CD19-targeted CAR T cells led by researchers in CCR’s Pediatric Oncology Branch.

Based on these positive results, Gilead Sciences Inc., one of the leading American biopharmaceutical companies that discovers, develops and commercializes drugs, recently made an $11 billion dollar acquisition of Kite Pharma, who is a producer of CAR T cell technology. Though the results of CAR T cell therapy has been very promising for the treatment of blood borne leukemia, the drug, has not been as successful in the treatment of solid tumor leukemia. One of the difficulties cited has been the inability of the CAR T cell therapy to penetrate adequately throughout the microenvironment of the solid tumor.

Cognos Thx believes that one of the most promising and novel applications for its SINNAIS smart pump is delivery of CAR T cells directly to the solid tumor. The SINNAIS pump can be implanted in a patient with extramedullary manifestations of acute myeloid leukemia, leukemia cells manifesting in a tumor, with the catheter leading directly to the tumor site. The pump will then administer the CAR T therapy directly into the tumor per a physician prescribed dose and metronomic schedule. The pump can be refilled with CAR T cells and treatment adjusted as needed. Using SINNAIS, patients for the first time will have an alternative therapy choice to receive CAR-T cell directly via a catheter to the solid tumor leading to enhancement of CAR-T cell efficacy, reduced side effects, improved cure rates, and quality of life.

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