Endocyte Presents Data from its CAR T Platform at American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2018

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Endocyte, Inc. (Nasdaq:ECYT), a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted therapeutics for personalized cancer treatment, today announced in a late-breaking poster session the presentation of new research from Endocyte’s chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) adaptor molecule (CAM) platform at the AACR Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, IL.

“We are pleased to present data that support the utility of our unique CAR T platform, which potentially enables us to control cytokine release syndrome (CRS), manage T-cell exhaustion and address heterogeneity in both solid and liquid tumors through the administration of multiple CAMs,” said Chris Leamon, vice president, research and development of Endocyte. “These findings are critical towards identifying the dosing regimen and confirming the anti-tumor activity of EC17/CAR T, our folate-targeted CAM-based therapy, as we look to initiate a phase 1 trial in osteosarcoma later this year.”

Endocyte’s CAM-based therapies consist of a single universal autologous CAR T-cell, designed to bind with high affinity to FITC. This universal CAR T-cell can be specifically directed to cancer cells through the administration of a bi-specific adaptor molecule targeted to both FITC and a tumor target, which acts to bridge the universal CAR T-cell with the cancer cells. This allows for control of the antigen target through the administration of the CAM, in contrast to current CAR T-cell therapies, in which the antigen targets are not controlled.

The data presented at AACR show that EC17 penetrates solid tumors within minutes and is retained due to high affinity for the folate receptor (FR), while unbound EC17 rapidly clears from the blood and receptor-negative tissues. When tested against human xenografts, EC17/CAR T-cell therapy has shown consistent antitumor activity with low or no adverse reactions. For translation into first-in-human testing, clinically relevant dosing regimens were evaluated using tumor-free and tumor-bearing mice to study CAR T-cell proliferation, cytokine production and the onset/mitigation of CRS. Preclinically, EC17/CAR T-cell therapy has demonstrated meaningful efficacy against some of the more aggressive and chemo-resistant FR+ tumors of various histology.

Although CRS could be triggered in this study, it could also be mitigated, or even prevented, using intermittent dosing and/or dose titration of the EC17 CAM. Under extreme conditions where dose cessation failed, intravenous sodium fluorescein (NaFl) could be used as a fast-acting rescue agent to temporarily displace CAR T-cells from their targets and reverse the CRS.

Endocyte is a biopharmaceutical company and leader in developing targeted therapies for the personalized treatment of cancer. The company's drug conjugation technology targets therapeutics and companion imaging agents specifically to the site of diseased cells. Endocyte's lead program is a prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted radioligand therapy, Lu-PSMA-617, entering phase 3 for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Endocyte is also advancing its adaptor-controlled CAR T-cell therapy into the clinic in 2018, where it will be studied in osteosarcoma. For additional information, please visit Endocyte's website at .

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Globe Newswire: 14:00 GMT Monday 16th April 2018

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