Kuur Therapeutics Launches to Develop and Commercialise "Off-the-shelf" CAR-NKT Cell Therapies Targeting Hematological and Solid Tumors
11 March 2020 - - US-based Kuur Therapeutics has launched its new business in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor's Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, the company said.

Houston-based Kuur Therapeutics will advance the work of its predecessor, Cell Medica, to develop anti-cancer therapies using its innovative chimeric antigen receptor natural killer T cell (CAR-NKT) therapy platform.

IP Group, Baylor College of Medicine and Schroeder Adveq are investing to support two phase 1 studies: GINAKIT 2 (autologous CAR-NKT cells in neuroblastoma) and ANCHOR (allogeneic CAR-NKT cells in CD19 malignancy).

The ongoing GINAKIT2 study is now enrolling patients at the third dose level and the ANCHOR study IND has recently been approved by the FDA, with first patient treatment expected in 1H 2020.

The funding will also support the preclinical development of an allogeneic CAR-NKT product for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, ahead of an IND submission anticipated in 1H 2021.

In conjunction with the new investment, Kevin S Boyle, Sr, was named CEO of Kuur, succeeding Chris Nowers. Boyle joined Cell Medica as CFO in February 2018. 

Kevin previously held senior finance roles at both NASDAQ-listed and private equity backed companies.

He is an accomplished capital markets professional, having raised over USD 2bn in equity and debt capital.

Kuur's novel CAR-NKT platform is a next-generation technology of engineered immune cells with enhanced functions for the treatment of hematological and solid tumors.

It utilises the unique properties of NKT cells, a specialised type of innate lymphocyte, which shares properties with both T and NK cells.

This platform, developed in the laboratory of Baylor Principal Investigator Leonid Metelitsa, is exclusively licensed to Kuur by its partner and collaborator, Baylor College of Medicine.

Kuur Therapeutics, headquartered in Houston, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming the treatment of solid and hematological cancers by developing next generation chimeric antigen receptor-natural killer T cell (CAR-NKT) therapies.

Developing a portfolio of primarily allogeneic therapies, the company's platform spanning both hematological and solid tumors is being created in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor's Center for Cell and Gene Therapy.

Baylor is listed 21st among all US medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding and number one in Texas.

Located in the Texas Medical Center, Baylor has affiliations with seven teaching hospitals and jointly owns and operates Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke's Health.

Currently, Baylor trains more than 3,000 medical, graduate, nurse anesthesia, physician assistant and orthotics students, as well as residents and post-doctoral fellows.