LUMICKS, a life science tools company that develops instruments for dynamic single-molecule and cell avidity analysis, today announced that a paper uncovering new insights into Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell functionality was published in the February 2022 issue of Frontiers in Immunology. The paper describes innovative research conducted at Kings College London under the auspices of Dr. John Maher, in collaboration with Leucid Bio, using LUMICKS’ z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer. This new research suggests that adding a second targeting receptor to CAR T cells enhances their ability to target cancer cells and shows promise to improve immunotherapies for cancer in pre-clinical models.
Said Dr. John Maher, Senior Lecturer at Kings College London in the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Chief Scientific Officer of Leucid Bio, “The unique abilities of the z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer enabled us to measure the total strength of interaction between our panel of CAR T cells and cancer cells. Using the LUMICKS’ z-Movi instrument, we could easily find the ‘goldilocks’ CARs that do not bind too strongly or too weakly to the target cells and show superior killing in pre-clinical models. New insights obtained using cell avidity measurements can really help improve the way we design cell therapies.”
Added Andrea Candelli, Chief Scientific Officer of LUMICKS, “We share the Kings College team’s excitement about the additional evidence shown by this paper of the critical role that cell avidity plays in uncovering and optimizing CAR T cells. Dr. Maher’s powerful research underscores the insights that our revolutionary technology can help researchers around the world discover, and help science better address core challenges in human health, particularly in designing potentially more effective immunotherapies to fight cancer.”
CAR-T cell immunotherapies modify T cells in the immune system to target and destroy cancer cells by genetically reprogramming T cells to make the CAR protein, by which T cells bind to, and attack, cancer cells. Such therapies are offered as treatments for certain cancers and many researchers, including Dr. Maher, are investigating new designs for CAR T-cell therapy for solid tumor cancers.
The z-Movi measures the avidity, or level of binding, between immune cells like CAR Ts, and their targets, the cancer cells, enabling researchers to identify the most potent immunotherapeutic effector cells as candidates to target and destroy specific cancer cells. This new technology provides predictive, reproducible, and fast results at a single-cell resolution without compromising cell viability, and ensures safe sample handling. LUMICKS’ cell avidity solutions use acoustics to measure forces and interactions between cells, with the goal of shortening the drug development cycle for adoptive cell therapies and other immunotherapies and reducing failure rates in clinical trials. First introduced in 2020, the z-Movi has found wide appeal in academic and biopharma laboratories around the world, with a rapid uptake in sales in 2021.