Seattle Children’s Hospital in the US has launched the child-focussed, clinical-stage biotechnology company BrainChild Bio to focus on expediting the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies in central nervous system (CNS) tumours.

BrainChild Bio will receive an exclusive licence for new CAR T-cell technology developed at Seattle Children’s Hospital to treat CNS tumours. 

The company received an initial equity investment from Seattle Children’s Hospital and will run as an independent entity.

Steven Brugger will be appointed as BrainChild Bio’s chief executive officer and Dr Michael Jensen will serve as chief scientific officer.

The first CAR T-cell therapy programme will focus on brain tumours in the paediatric population, with an emphasis on diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

Activities previously carried out at Seattle Children’s Therapeutics will form the basis of the clinical programmes.

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These programmes comprise four clinical trials to analyse the preliminary efficacy and safety of targets for CAR T-cell therapy in paediatric CNS tumours.

The initial data readout from the trials is anticipated in 2024.

The BrainChild-04 trial was launched in 2023 to assess four targets using a single therapy. 

Once it has clinical proof-of-concept in DIPG, BrainChild will seek paediatric registration for this indication.

The company then plans to expand the cell therapies’ therapeutic application for other hard-to-treat brain tumours in children and adults, including glioblastoma and brain metastases.

Jensen stated: “BrainChild Bio is founded with a mission to bring the best ideas forward to push the bounds of scientific discovery in service of children with cancer. 

“For far too long, children have been deprioritised for commercialised medicines, and families have been left without options. 

“We are steadfast in our commitment to cracking the code of harnessing CAR T-cell technology in CNS tumours and we are uniquely positioned to do so.”

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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