Press Release


Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Announces Late-Breaking Presentation of Dual-Switch CAR-T / TCR Technology at AACR

HOUSTON, April 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders, today announced two presentations of preclinical results on the Company’s proprietary dual-switch technology for use in CAR-T and TCR product candidates at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

“We’re excited to report compelling preclinical data on the first dual-switch technology designed to provide control over both the activity and safety of cell-based therapies,” said Rick Fair, Chief Executive Officer of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. “These data in both CAR-T and TCR constructs support our objective to continue leading the industry in developing novel, controllable cell therapies. We look forward to advancing product candidates incorporating this dual-switch technology into the clinic.”

The Company’s dual molecular switch is designed to increase efficacy, durability and safety of adoptive cell therapies. T-cell proliferation is triggered by an inducible MyD88/CD40 (iMC) costimulatory switch, which when activated by the presence of both a target antigen and rimiducid, leads to enhanced T-cell activation and survival. A novel suicide switch, called RapaCIDeTM, is also engineered into the cell for use in the event of severe toxicities. RapaCIDe is activated via infusion of rapamycin, triggering immediate apoptosis of the modified cells. The dual-switch technology has been incorporated into the Company’s GoCAR-T and GoTCR platforms.

In a late-breaking poster presentation titled “Dual-switch HER2 CAR-T cells: Small molecule-regulated GO and STOP switches to target solid cancer in vivo,” Bellicum scientists tested the novel dual-switch platform in solid tumors by combining both the iMC costimulatory and RapaCIDe apoptotic signaling switches inside a first-generation CAR targeting HER2. Results showed that the novel RapaCIDe switch was as effective as the Company’s CaspaCIDe® switch at activating apoptosis, while the iMC costimulatory switch enhanced tumor killing and T-cell proliferation. This study demonstrated that the Company’s dual-switch GoCAR-T technology effectively controlled tumor growth, T-cell proliferation/persistence and elimination in a solid tumor model.

Additional data were reported in a second presentation on the Company’s dual-switch technology in a TCR targeting the cancer antigen PRAME (preferentially expressed antigen in melanoma). The TCR was engineered with the rimiducid-driven iMC costimulatory switch and the RapaCIDe suicide switch. Results reported in a poster presentation titled “Dual-switch TCR: A two-ligand system to control PRAME TCR-modified T-cell proliferation and death using inducible MyD88/CD40 and caspase-9,” showed that T cells transduced with the dual-switch technology effectively enhanced T-cell proliferation/persistence in the presence of rimiducid, and exposure to rapamycin effectively triggered the RapaCIDe switch and induced apoptosis, eliminating the cells. This is the first reported prototype of a dual-switch TCR designed to increase efficacy, durability and safety of adoptive T-cell therapies.

The posters will be available in the Abstracts & Presentations section of the Bellicum website after the presentations.

AACR Presentation Details

Late-Breaking Presentation:

  • Abstract Number: LB-184 / 7
  • Presentation Title: “Dual-switch HER2 CAR-T cells: Small molecule-regulated GO and STOP switches to target solid cancer in vivo
  • Presentation Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
  • Presentation Time: 8:00 AM12:00 PM ET
  • Section: 35

Additional Presentation:

  • Abstract Number: 3745 / 1
  • Presentation Title: “Dual-switch TCR: A two-ligand system to control PRAME TCR-modified T cell proliferation and death using inducible MyD88/CD40 and caspase-9”
  • Presentation Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
  • Presentation Time: 8:00 AM12:00 PM ET
  • Section: 30

About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders. Bellicum is using its proprietary Chemical Induction of Dimerization (CID) technology platform to engineer and control components of the immune system. Bellicum is developing next-generation product candidates in some of the most important areas of cellular immunotherapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and CAR-T and TCR cell therapies. More information can be found at www.bellicum.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
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 instances, use terms such as “believe,” “may,” “might,” “could,” “will,” “aim,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “our objective,” “expect,” “plan,” or the negative of those terms, or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning, among other things: our research and development activities relating to our iC9, iMC, RapaCIDe, iRC9 and CID technologies, and our iC9, iMC, RapaCIDe, iRC9 programs; the effectiveness of our dual-switch HER2 CAR-T and PRAME TCR programs and their possible range of application and potential curative effects and safety in the treatment of diseases, including as compared to other treatment options and competitive therapies. Our estimates, projections and other forward-looking statements are based on our management's current assumptions and expectations of future events and trends, which affect or may affect our business, strategy, operations or financial performance. Although we believe that these estimates, projections and other forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, they are subject to numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are made in light of information currently available to us. Many important factors, in addition to the factors described in this presentation, may adversely and materially affect our results as indicated in forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Estimates, projections and other forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and, except to the extent required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or review any estimate, projection or forward-looking statement. These statements are also subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties that are described more fully in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation, our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016.

Investors:
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Alan Musso, CFO
832-384-1116
amusso@bellicum.com

Media:
BMC Communications
Brad Miles
646-513-3125
bmiles@bmccommunications.com

Primary Logo

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals