We were able to unleash the full force of the immune system on even the most challenging solid tumors?
We can leverage natural properties of the immune system in novel ways to overcome the major limitations of existing immuno-oncology approaches – namely, high levels of molecular variation between cancerous cells and the innate ability of tumors to suppress immune cell function.
Co-founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2016, Torque is developing a new class of Deep-Primed™ T cell therapeutics to dramatically expand cell therapy cures for cancer. The company’s Deep-Primed T cells both target multiple tumor antigens and pharmacologically activate an immune response with anchored cytokines. This process does not require genetic engineering of the T cells and so preserves the natural T cell receptor for delivering a regulated immune response, with the potential for a high margin of safety.
The company has completed extensive preclinical studies with its Deep IL-15 and Deep IL-12 clinical candidates demonstrating increased T cell proliferation, activation, tumor cell killing, and survival without the toxicity of systemically administered cytokines.
In August 2018, Torque announced a high-efficiency T cell manufacturing called Slipstream™. Currently-marketed immune cell therapies are produced using open, complex, labor- and cost-intensive processes that require a substantial manufacturing facility. In contrast, Slipstream production is semi-automated and fully closed, which eliminates contamination risk between transfers and can dramatically reduce staffing requirements and the factory footprint. This proprietary process is now in place at UC Davis for manufacturing Deep-Primed T-Cells for Torque’s first clinical trial, which will initiate later in 2018 in both solid and hematologic cancers.
Torque’s immuno-oncology strategy is to prime and activate T cells to target multiple tumor antigens; and to tether immune-stimulatory drugs directly to the surface of these multi-target T cells to stimulate and direct the immune response locally in the tumor microenvironment.
In hematologic cancers, Torque’s new class of immune therapeutics has the potential to improve on the initial success of single-target CAR-T therapeutics with expanded efficacy and move cell therapy treatment out of the hospital with a high margin of safety. For solid tumors, Deep-Primed T cells have the potential to enable efficacy against tumors with heterogeneous antigens protected by hostile microenvironments, which are not readily addressable with the first generation of immune cell therapies.
Torque believes there is a significant opportunity to dramatically expand cancer cures, particularly for solid tumors, using Deep-Primed T cells with high cell doses, administered with repeat doses to drive deep and persistent clinical responses.
Latest Press from Torque Therapeutics
- Torque Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Trial of TRQ-1501 Deep IL-15 Primed T Cells in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors or Lymphomas 02.20.2019
- Torque Announces Clinical Trial Collaboration with Merck 02.20.2019
- Torque and Thermo Fisher Scientific Announce Collaboration to Build State-of-the-Art Facility to Manufacture Torque's Deep-Primed T Cell Immunotherapies 02.04.2019
- Torque Appoints John Cox as Executive Chairman to Board of Directors and Lisa Butterfield, PhD, to Scientific Advisory Board 01.25.2019
- Torque Presents Preclinical Data for Deep IL-15 Primed T Cells, Deep IL-12 Primed T Cells, and for the Slipstream™ Process for Manufacturing These First-in-Class, Multi-Target Cellular Immunotherapies 11.12.2018
- Torque Announces Appointment of Immunotherapy Pioneer F. Stephen Hodi, MD, to Scientific Advisory Board and Alex Bruni as COO/ CFO 11.02.2018