14.5 C
Utrecht
Thursday, 22 October 2020
No menu items!
Home Interviews Immunotherapy of cancer: Gadeta BV and UMCU exploit a novel therapeutic approach...

Immunotherapy of cancer: Gadeta BV and UMCU exploit a novel therapeutic approach with potential broad anti-tumor reactivity

Last updated 2 months ago by Michael Darmanin

The ongoing defense against life-threatening pathogens and cancers

Our immune system is constantly at work in an effort to protect us from threatening pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Only recently, it has been understood that our immune system plays a key role also towards the prevention and development of tumors.

Adoptive Cell Therapy on the fronts in the war against cancer

Cancer Immuno-therapy allows tumor targeting by boosting the patient’s own immune system.
Breakthroughs results were recently obtained using a number of different approaches including a very fascinating one: Adoptive Cell therapy. This methodology involves extracting lymphocytes (immune cells) from a patients body, which are then “boosted” ex vivo in a laboratory (here immune cells are “taught” how to attack tumors), and returned to the patient’s body.

Today we had the chance to visit Gadeta BV, a clinical stage Utrecht biotech company committed to produce a very promising Adoptive Cell Therapy approach.

The modern structure of the Life Science Incubator (LSI) is located next to the UMCU in Utrecht.
It hosts Gadeta offices and Laboratories. Photo credit: Marco Guadagnoli.
The modern structure of the Life Science Incubator (LSI) is located next to the UMCU in Utrecht. It hosts Gadeta offices and Laboratories. Photo credit: Marco Guadagnoli.

Learning from Nature

The technology platform of Gadeta is based on a discovery by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kuball at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU). In essence, a rare lymphocyte protein (called γδ, Gamma-Delta Receptor) was discovered in nature to mediate efficient tumor destruction (referred as cytotoxicity).
Gadeta Technology have developed a promising method capable of producing a very large number of immune cells empowered with this naturally occurring anti-tumor mechanism.
Ex-vivo “boosted” Immune cells, the final product, are called TEGs (T cells Engineered to express a defined Gamma-delta receptor) and are ready to be returned into the patient body within few days.

Conventional Immune cells are taken out of a patient and modified in a laboratory to express the gamma-delta protein receptors able to sensitize tumor recognition. TEGs are therefore returned to the patient body.

Talking to one of the founders

When did you start thinking of exploiting this discovery into a therapeutic approach?
We asked Tol Trimborn, founder and Chief Operational Officer at Gadeta.
“I started brainstorming with prof. Kuball about this idea in 2015. At that time, we were considering also different approaches but, in the end, we decided to focus on TEGs production”.

Why GADETA as a company name?
“The name Gadeta was suggested by Giovanni Mariggi (founder investor), summarizing in a way our core tech: GAmma DElta TherApy”.What is in your opinion the main difference as compared to already existing cellular therapies?
In general, explains Tol, Gadeta approach remains more physiological implying natural activation mechanisms and therefore potential less side-effects. In addition, TEGs activity is not bound to a particular type of cancer. “Our tumor targets can be very broad. We have already shown reactivity towards Colon, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Breasts Cancers as well as non-solid malignancies such as Multiple Myeloma and Acute Myeloid Leukemia”.

How long does it take to produce a “ready-to-go” TEG-drug?
The second generation of TEGs, explains Tol, is performed in a fully automated process that takes place in a machine called Prodigy. “TEGs can be ready for infusion as early as 8-9 days”.

The Prodigy device (Miltenyi Biotec, Germany), where TEGs production takes place. In less than 10 days, Patient lymphocytes can be boosted ex-vivo and returned into the Patient body via blood infusion.
During this process, cells of the immune system are “taught” how to attack tumors. Photo credit: Marco Guadagnoli.
The Prodigy device (Miltenyi Biotec, Germany), where TEGs production takes place. In less than 10 days, Patient lymphocytes can be boosted ex-vivo and returned into the Patient body via blood infusion. During this process, cells of the immune system are “taught” how to attack tumors. Photo credit: Marco Guadagnoli.

Which clinical studies are planned to take place?
“A clinical trial has already been started at the UMCU with our 1st drug generation on Relapse-Refractory Multiple Myeloma and Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients. We are about to initiate a similar trial in United States using our 2nd generation drug. No data are available to be shared yet.”.

How do you foresee the future of Gadeta?
“Bright”, answers Tol. He explains that the Californian company Kyte Pharma is heavily sponsoring their R&D process. He adds that the Discovery team of Gadeta is working to find new exploitable Gamma-Delta receptors and new mechanisms to improve product efficacy.In general, how close are we to find a cure for cancer?
“It is hard to say, Cancers are very heterogeneous and they continuously evolve to find ways that circumvent therapies. Our cellular drug can offer a solid new layer for fighting against cancer”.

Visit Gadeta to learn more about the organisation and gain more insight into this new groundbreaking therapy.

Marco Guadagnoli
Marco Guadagnoli
Marco Guadagnoli is an Italian Scientist. He finished his studies in Amsterdam at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) and obtained his PhD in Oncology in 2013. Since then he worked in Dutch biotech companies and specialized in the field of Immune-oncology. Marco likes to share opinions on different topics and he is very keen in supporting information for expats in the Netherlands.

1 COMMENT

  1. Remarkable research results reported by this remarkable company Gadeta, working with Utrecht University.
    Best of luck turning it into effective products soon!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular in the last 7 days

CoronaMelder app officially live across the Netherlands

While each of us are trying to do our part to combat the corona virus, another tool has been released to help...

Can good ventilation help in stopping COVID-19 spread?

With a rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, and deaths globally, questions are raised about its transmission routes and precautionary...

Rietveld Schröder House: an iconic masterpiece

Rietveld Schröder House is an iconic masterpiece of the architecture world. Although, to the average public, it is just a pretty house....

Artificial intelligence: hope for climate change?

Climate researchers from the Utrecht University, in collaboration with other scientists, are paving the way for a revolution in the study of...

More from this Author

Immunotherapy of cancer: Gadeta BV and UMCU exploit a novel therapeutic approach with potential broad anti-tumor reactivity

The ongoing defense against life-threatening pathogens and cancersOur immune system is constantly at work in an effort to protect us from threatening...

BUNK: your chance to stay in a converted church in Utrecht

A very original idea is the BUNK hotel in Utrecht which provides visitors the chance to experience a stay between the walls...