What's Next For Cell Therapy In Oncology? Enlivex (NASDAQ: ENLV) Says It Has The Answers

What's Next For Cell Therapy In Oncology? Enlivex (NASDAQ: ENLV) Says It Has The Answers

Since Robert Hooke discovered cells in 1665 and Theodor Schwann proposed the classical cell theory in 1839, the cell therapy industry has grown by leaps and bounds.

Today, there are several potential applications of cell therapies. They can be used in treating infectious and autoimmune diseases, fighting cancers, improving a weakened immune system, helping patients with neurological disorders, rebuilding damaged cartilage in joints and repairing spinal cord injuries, among other applications.

Because of the wide applications of this technology, the global cell therapy market is growing. Governments around the world are increasingly investing in the biopharmaceutical industry's development, and the cell therapy industry is being propelled forward by an increase in the number of clinical trials for cell-based treatments. 

Already, leading industry participants like Fate Therapeutics FATEEnlivex Therapeutics Ltd. ENLV, bluebird bio Inc. BLUE and NKarta Therapeutics Inc. NKTX are introducing ground-breaking cell treatments into the global market.

What's Next For Cell Therapy In Oncology?

In particular, Enlivex Therapeutics says it is already looking into the future of cell therapy in oncology.

Currently, cellular therapies are designed to improve the immune system's ability to fight cancer. Manufacturing them involves collecting a specific set of cells — T-cell transfer therapy — from the blood, modifying them to produce a more vigorous attack on a patient's cancer cells and then reinjecting them into the patient.

Apart from T-cell therapy, another area of research in cell therapy is CAR-T cell therapy.

In this treatment, T-cells are taken from a patient's blood. Then, the gene for a unique man-made receptor binds to a specific protein on the patient's cancer cells — known as a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) — and is added to the T-cells. This alteration turns the T-cells into CAR-T cells that attack the patient's cancer cells.

In what could be a new approach, Israel-based Enlivex reports developing Allocetra™, an off-the-shelf therapy designed to reprogram macrophages into their homeostatic state.

Diseases such as solid cancers, sepsis, COVID-19 and many others reprogram macrophages out of their homeostatic state. These nonhomeostatic macrophages contribute significantly to the severity of such diseases.

By restoring macrophage homeostasis, Allocetra™ has the potential to provide an immunotherapeutic mechanism of action for life-threatening clinical indications – defined as unmet medical needs – as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with therapeutic agents.

Equilibriums That Solve Complex Diseases

Enlivex Executive Chairman Shai Novik, speaking at Cantor Fitzgerald's Cell and Genetic Medicines Conference, highlighted the company's initial focus on sepsis indication, which has a high unmet need. He said that the first solid tumor clinical trial was initiated a few months ago.

Since being founded in October 2005, the company reports its mission has been to establish new equilibriums that solve complex diseases. According to Enlivex, Allocetra™ cell-based therapy breaks old paradigms, effectively treating numerous acute conditions through a radically different clinical approach.

Novik said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that a team of scientists, doctors, investors and entrepreneurs are working together to develop what they believe could "tackle some of the most problematic diseases, save more patients and ultimately change the world."

Preclinical And Clinical Trials Of Allocetra™

As a clinical-stage company focused on macrophage reprogramming, Enlivex says it intends to develop and commercialize a drug pipeline for macrophage reprogramming in solid cancers, sepsis and other indications.

The company reports that preclinical and clinical trials of Allocetra™ have been promising. The trials have started to show that restoring macrophage homeostasis could help people recover faster and with fewer complications when used on its own or in combination with other therapeutic agents.

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Featured photo by Enlivex Therapeutics

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