Using scorpion venom to treat tumours: A look at Chimeric Therapeutics' CLTX technology

Summary

  • Chimeric Therapeutics’ CLTX-CAR T therapy utilises chlorotoxin, a peptide derived from the scorpion venom.
  • CLTX-CAR T cells identify and destroy glioblastoma (GBM) cells with high-level potency and specificity.
  • The ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of CLTX-CAR T also launched a new opportunity for repurposing the use of scorpion venom for CAR T cell engineering.

Chimeric Therapeutics Limited (ASX:CHM) aims to become a leader in the cell therapy space and develop life-altering therapies for humankind. Currently, the Company is developing its pioneering CLTX-CAR T cell therapies for solid tumours.

The Company’s groundbreaking cell therapy treatments are based on the scientific research conducted by leading US CAR T experts at City of Hope Cancer Centre.

To meet the Company’s newest Board members, click here.

Chimeric’s CLTX-CAR T Therapy

Chimeric Therapeutics’ CLTX-CAR T therapy utilises a peptide derived from the venom of the scorpion. The peptide directs human T cells to target glioblastoma (GBM), a type of brain cancer.
Currently, CLTX-CAR T therapy of CHM is under Phase 1 clinical study to treat GBM at City of Hope. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is one of the ways City of Hope scientists are empowering a patient’s immune system to combat cancer.

Significantly, the ongoing Phase 1 study has also launched a new avenue for repurposing the use of a natural venom for CAR T cell engineering. The clinical trial evaluates the side effects and the best dose of CAR T cells containing a CLTX targeting domain.

CLTX- CAR T cells had provided strong evidence for efficacy with negligible off-tumour toxicity in preclinical studies.  Besides, the tumour binding properties of CLTX are encouraging, with substantial therapeutic potential.

Image Source: CHM Website

In CAR T cell therapy, an immune T cell is taken from the patient and then sent for reprogramming. During the reprogramming process, the cells become super-charged to seek a specific target on the cancer cell surface.

In another way, a CAR T cell expresses a custom-designed receptor for T cell. The external recognition portion of the CAR offers new target specificity. Notably, after expression in a patient’s T cells and T cell binding to the target molecule, these receptors instigate T cell activation and tumour killing.

DO READ: How is Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) progressing with CLTX-CAR T cell therapy?

Image Source: CHM Website

Chimeric’s CLTX Mechanism

The CLTX-CAR T technology of Chimeric Therapeutics incorporates CLTX, a peptide derived from scorpion venom, as a novel CAR tumour recognition domain. Moreover, this domain extends the range of CAR T cell, aiming to treat solid tumours.

CLTX-CAR T cells specifically target GBM by identifying a receptor complex composed of membrane-bound matrix metalloprotease 2 (MMP-2) and involving the chloride channel (CLC3).

Image Source: CHM Website

MUST READ: How is Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM) progressing with CLTX-CAR T cell therapy?

What is CLTX?

CLTX is a 36-amino acid peptide which is a highly stable protein structure having four disulphide bonds. This was first discovered in 1993 to block chloride channel signalling.

CLTX had demonstrated specific binding with glioma and other malignant cells.

CLTX peptide is non-toxic to cells and primarily, has been used as a tumour targeting agent because of its selective tumour binding.

On 9 February 2021, CHM shares last traded at A$0.295.

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