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Torque launches platform to develop a new class of Immune Cell Therapies

15 November 2017 | News

Torque’s Deep-Priming platform is based on 10 years of research and development focused on taking very potent immunomodulatory drugs—cytokines, antibodies, and small molecules that have the ability to activate and protect T cells from the hostile tumor micro-environment

An immune-oncology company of flagship pioneering, Torque has announced the launch of its technology platform to create a new class of immune cell therapeutics financed with $25 million in Series A capital by Flagship Pioneering.

The Torque platform makes it possible to anchor powerful stimulatory cytokines, antibodies, and small molecules directly to immune cells to direct their activity and increase their efficacy and durability in the “hostile” tumor microenvironment, without systemic exposure.

Torque’s Deep-Priming platform is based on 10 years of research and development focused on taking very potent immunomodulatory drugs—cytokines, antibodies, and small molecules that have the ability to activate and protect T cells from the hostile tumor microenvironment.

Doug Cole, Lead Director of Torque and Managing Partner of Flagship Pioneering said, “The tumor microenvironment shuts down immune cells, protecting tumors from their attack. Torque is engineering immune cells with the tools to fight back to overcome this immunosuppression. This directed, precisely controlled approach goes far beyond what can be achieved using either gene editing or genetic engineering alone.”

Darrell Irvine, co-founder of Torque, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute said, “By arming immune cells to function robustly deep in the tumor microenvironment, this approach has the potential to create a new class of cellular immunotherapeutics, substantially expanding the efficacy of conventional cell-based methods. Torque’s approach has the potential to significantly expand the proportion of patients that respond to cellular immunotherapy and to take us closer to curing cancer, rather than just slowing its progression.”

 

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