HOUSTON, May 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers, today announced the publication of preclinical data from its GoCAR-NK™ Cell Program in the digital edition of Blood Advances, a journal published by The American Society of Hematology. The article is titled “Inducible MyD88/CD40 synergizes with IL-15 to enhance antitumor efficacy of CAR-NK cells.” Bellicum’s proprietary inducible MyD88/CD40 (iMC) activation switch is incorporated into its GoCAR product candidates. In this study, incorporating iMC into CAR-NK cells was found to improve cell proliferation and persistence, stimulate cytokine production, and enhance innate cytotoxicity against tumor cells in multiple models.
“We are pleased to see these preclinical data published in Blood Advances,” said Rick Fair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bellicum. “These results support our enthusiasm for the application of the GoCAR platform to allogeneic natural killer cells. Based on these findings, we have nominated our first GoCAR-NK program targeting BCMA for preclinical development and expect to present additional data later this year.”
Bellicum’s GoCAR-NK platform is designed to address several of the current challenges of allogeneic cell therapy approaches. iMC signaling combined with autocrine IL-15 may enhance engraftment and survival of CAR-NK cells. GoCAR-NK cytokine production may re-ignite a host-derived antitumor response. Further, iMC activation in GoCAR-NK cells enhances both CAR antigen-specific and innate NK cell cytotoxicity, offering the potential for activity against tumor cells with reduced or completely absent target antigen expression. Finally, NK cells have low risk of eliciting graft versus host disease, making them attractive for allogeneic cell therapy.
Allogeneic GoCAR-NK cells may improve the durability of clinical responses while offering the anticipated advantages that an off-the-shelf product may provide, including faster and more certain time to treatment, greater scalability and convenience, and potentially lower cost. Management expects to present additional preclinical data for this program by the end of 2020.
The article may be found on the Publications page of the Bellicum corporate website here: https://www.bellicum.com/scientific-publications/.
About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company striving to deliver cures through controllable cell therapies. The company’s next-generation product candidates are differentiated by powerful cell signaling technologies designed to produce more effective CAR-T and CAR-NK cell therapies. Bellicum’s lead GoCAR-T® candidate, BPX-601, is designed to be a more efficacious CAR-T cell product capable of overriding key immune inhibitory mechanisms. More information about Bellicum can be found at www.bellicum.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Bellicum may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “designed,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: our research and development activities and expectations regarding generating and presenting data for our GoCAR-NK and other cell therapy programs; our ability to generate nonclinical data necessary to advance the GoCAR-NK program and the timing of generating such data; and whether the BCMA-targeted NK construct will demonstrate any of the potential advantages anticipated. Various factors may cause differences between Bellicum’s expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and our annual report on Form 10-K the year ended December 31, 2019. Any forward-looking statements that Bellicum makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Bellicum assumes no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Robert H. Uhl