Mar 2, 2020
Dan Passeri, CEO, Cue Biopharma discusses their proprietary Immuno-STAT(TM) platform. Cue Biopharma is engineering a novel class of injectable biologics to selectively engage and modulate targeted T cells within the body to transform the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The platform is designed to harness the body's intrinsic immune system response without the need for ex vivo manipulation. Cue is currently conducting a Phase 1 study in HPV16-driven head and neck cancer and partnering with Merck to develop treatments for autoimmune diseases.
#immunooncology #HNSCC. #TCells
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TRANSCRIPT Page 1:
Welcome to the empoweredpatientpodcast.com show. I'm Karen Jagoda, and my guest today is Dan Passeri. He's the CEO of Cue Biopharma. That's cuebiopharma.com. And I recently talked with Anish Suri, who is the Chief Scientific Officer at Cue, and I thought it was such an interesting story that I thought it was also a good idea to get the CEO of the company on the show to give us a little bit of an update and perhaps a little bit more in the way of details. So welcome to the show today, Dan.
Thanks, Karen. Appreciate it.
So let's just talk a little bit about where Cue fits into the landscape of immuno-oncology companies.
Sure. Immuno-oncology is obviously a very broad, encompassing category, and what it really covers is any approach that is meant to stimulate the immune system in some manner, that is meant to have clinical activity against cancer. And there's a myriad of approaches, but ultimately, no matter what approach is being taken, the objective is to stimulate the effective components of the immune system that can identify and attack cancer.
What we do is actually quite distinctive in that the majority of approaches have tried to stimulate T-cells in various ways by taking them out of the body, for instance. And we've all heard of all these various cell therapy approaches, CAR T being the best publicized and characterized. And that's where you're taking T-cells out of the patient, you're genetically altering them to have a particular receptor that recognizes cancer, and infusing them back in.
There are also cell therapy approaches where they take the cells out and use particular proteins that are represented on cancer, and then those T-cells will recognize that protein, and they use something called IL-2, Interleukin-2. It's an approved drug called proleukin, and they'll stimulate the T-cells, and then they infuse them back into the body.
What we're doing is quite a different approach, and we believe it's a transformative approach in that we are using a biologic engineering category to stimulate T-cells directly in the patient's body. So it basically removes the need for having to extract T-cells out of the patient and the cumbersome manipulations, and we believe what we'll have is a potential breakthrough in the space where we can use our biologic to engage the desired T-cells. Now, that is only those T-cells that will recognize the protein on the cancer, activate those T-cells, and make many copies of them so that they then will identify the tumor cells, attack them, and destroy them. So that's the broad overview of what we're doing.
So when I heard you describe what you're up to, it sounded like there were lots of advantages. One, a time factor. You don't have to take the cells out and put them back in the body after a certain period of time. But also it sounds like you might be able to reduce the unintended consequences or the side effects. Can you say a little bit about what goes on when you approach the cancer in this way?
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