US-based clinical-stage biotechnology company March Biosciences has announced that the Cancer Focus Fund has invested $4.8m into the former’s upcoming Phase II clinical trial investigating MB-105 in relapsed T-cell leukaemias and lymphomas.
MB-105 is a chimeric antigen receptor-T cell (CAR-T) therapy, which targets CD5, a protein that is frequently expressed in both normal and malignant T-cells.
March Biosciences is working alongside the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to fund the open-label, multi-centre trial that will assess MB-105 in patients with CD5-positive relapsed or refractory T-cell lymphoma.
March Biosciences co-founder and CEO Sarah Hein commented: “As a Houston-invented and headquartered biotech developing an innovative cancer therapy manufactured in collaboration with Houston’s CTMC [cell therapy manufacturing centre], we are delighted that the Cancer Focus Fund is investing in our upcoming clinical trial.”
MB-105 has demonstrated a favourable safety profile in a Phase I trial (NCT03081910), which was conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine Cell and Gene Therapy Center.
The study found that the therapy was safe and induced clinical responses in heavily treated patients. It also found that it eliminated malignant T-cells that could allow previously ineligible patients to proceed to a haematopoietic stem cell transplant,
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Hein said MB-105 has the potential to become a first-in-class life-saving therapy for relapsed T-cell lymphoma patients, who have limited treatment options.
GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Intelligence Centre shows that there are currently nine marketed drugs in the indication of T-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Additionally, there are 15 other drugs currently in Phase II trials and 20 in Phase I.
GlobalData is the parent company of Clinical Trials Arena.
A report from GlobalData forecasts that cell therapies are expected to capture 47% of the global acute lymphocytic leukaemia market by 2031, with CAR-T agents constituting 14%. It also found that in 2021 the global market for the indication stood at around $2.3bn and is expected to grow to $3.7bn by 2031.