Cancer is a chronic disease rapidly becoming the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in the EU. Though enormously expensive (several billions EUR/year), currently available anti-cancer therapies are highly toxic and often ineffective and are major causes of chronic diseases. Adoptive immunotherapy with T cells genetically modified to express a tumour-reactive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is an innovative therapeutic concept, promising to eradicate cancer once for all, without causing chronic disabilities. The goal of EURE-CART is to bring the EU at the forefront of CAR-T cell immunotherapy and extending its applicability to incurable tumours that so far have never been tackled with this approach. EURE-CART project’s main object is to conduct a multicentre, first-in-man Phase I/IIa clinical trial to demonstrate the safety and the efficacy of CD44v6 CAR-T cell immunotherapy in acute myeloid leukaemia and multiple myeloma. CD44v6 CAR-T, is part of the CAR-T (Chimeric antigen-receptor-engineered T cells) family: lymphocytes armed with chimeric receptors that have demonstrated high anti-tumour potential, also against tumours, which are particularly aggressive and resistant to traditional therapies. CAR-CD44v6, which has already been successfully tested in appropriate murine models, represents a product candidate with a particularly high therapeutic potential, as it specifically recognises variant 6 (v6) of the antigen CD44 (CD44v6), expressed by many haematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukaemia and multiple myeloma - as well as by several epithelial tumours, including breast, colon, pancreatic, head-and-neck and lung carcinomas.
|Start date:||January 1st, 2017|
|End date:||December 31st, 2020|
|Project coordinator:||Dr Catia Traversari, MLM , Milan|
|Consortium:||9 partners from 5 EU countries|
|Total funding||5,903,146 EUR|
Context & Background
Cancer is a chronic disease rapidly becoming the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in the EU. Though enormously expensive (several billions EUR/year), currently available anti-cancer therapies are highly toxic and often ineffective and are major causes of chronic diseases. EURE-CART participants believe that patient-derived T cells genetically modified to express a tumour-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) will contribute to shaping the next generation of personalised cancer therapies. It is therefore anticipated that EURE-CART will have a significant impact on the life and wellbeing of cancer patients, their families and health care providers, as well as on the sustainability and excellence of EU health care systems.
The main expected impact of EURE-CART is to strengthen the leader role of the EU in translational research, to establish CAR T-cell immunotherapy as the ultimate personalised therapy for cancer and to create secure new jobs in the EU through the instalment of an unprecedented alliance between academia, industry and regulatory bodies.
Specifically EURE-CART aims:
Specifically EURE-CART aims:
- To pioneer CAR-T cell immunotherapy in the EU
- To make a harmonised effort on advanced therapies
- To foster the implementation of cellular therapies in the EU
- Promoting personalised cancer therapy for better outcomes and reduced costs
- Leveraging the role of advanced therapies for chronic diseases
- Strengthening the academia-biotech partnership to “make it happen”
- Creating equal opportunities in the European research area