Poseida Therapeutics and TScan Therapeutics Announce Research Collaboration and License Agreement to Explore Developing Allogeneic T Cell Receptor Therapies for the Treatment of COVID-19

Poseida Therapeutics and TScan Therapeutics announced a research collaboration and license agreement to explore developing TCR-T cell therapies for the treatment of COVID-19.  Poseida's allogeneic T cell platform will be used in combination with TScan's discovered immunodominant epitopes and TCR sequences for the development and commercialization of allogeneic TCR-T cell therapies.

Devon Shedlock, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Poseida Said: "The TScan relationship will allow us to expand our platform and T cell experience, utilizing one or more TCRs in allogeneic cell therapy applications, We are impressed by TScan's novel platform for the discovery of TCRs. This, coupled with the opportunity to explore our allogeneic T cell platform's potential for also treating diseases outside of oncology, including COVID-19 and eventually other infectious diseases, represents an exciting and differentiated approach."

Gavin MacBeath, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at TScan Said: "Therapeutic strategies to treat COVID-19 have largely focused on neutralizing antibodies that block viral infection or small molecule drugs that inhibit viral replication, We are excited about the possibility of combining our SARS-CoV-2 TCR findings with Poseida's allogeneic T Cell approach to explore a potential cellular therapy for patients with COVID-19. We look forward to collaborating with the Poseida team on this approach."

Emerging studies suggest that patients who fail to mount effective T cell responses often end up with more severe and life-threatening disease. Administering virus-specific engineered T cells may provide a rapid and effective way to address this deficiency. Results from TScan demonstrate that generating a memory T cell response targeting specific proteins may be important for fighting the virus and for long-term immunity. Combining these findings with Poseida's off-the-shelf allogeneic T cell product approach, which has generated a very high percentage of stem cell memory T cells (Tscm) and has the potential to yield hundreds of doses from a single manufacturing run using proprietary booster molecule technology, may provide both an immediate therapeutic effect, as well as longer-term immunity.

TScan recently announced data generated by their TCR/Target Discovery platform identifying the precise targets of T cells isolated from COVID-19 convalescent patients, along with the TCRs that recognize them. A core set of targets were shared among patients with the same human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type and were primarily located outside the spike protein. A paper describing this work is currently in press at Immunity, a Cell Press journal. TScan worked with clinical partner Atlantic Health Systems to recruit recovering COVID-19 patients for this work.  Combining these findings with Poseida's off-the-shelf allogeneic T cell product platform may provide an accessible cell-based therapy for patients with insufficient T cell responses.

Under the terms of the Agreement, Poseida will gain access to TScan's data and IP related to TCR sequences and targets potentially valuable in treating COVID-19, and TScan will provide TCR expertise and counsel to the research collaboration.  Detailed financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

SOURCE Poseida Therapeutics, Inc

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