Dennis Beringer, Kuball Group, received a EU Marie Curie MSCA fellowship:
“Investigating the recognition of a novel ligand by gamma-delta T cells and the translation of this interaction into molecules for future cancer immunotherapy”.
A relevant part of the abstract:
“Gamma-delta (gd-)T cells are a fast acting subset of T cells that recognize a wide variety of ligands. In contrast to alpha-beta T cells they are not restricted to classical peptide-MHC antigens. Our preliminary data on a gd-T cell clone shows selective recognition of tumour cells mediated through a novel ligand.
The aims of this action are; 1) elucidating the molecular mechanism of the gd-T cell receptor (TCR) recognizing the novel ligand on cancer cells and 2) generating therapeutic agents for cancer cells.
A multidisciplinary approach will be used to unveil the interaction of the gd-TCR with its ligand. The results generated in this part of the action will increase the current knowledge regarding gd-T cell ligands.”
Today Stefan Nierkens has finished his training to become a medical immunologist by passing his exams. Congratulations!
Maud Plantinga heeft een Bas Mulder Award ontvangen van het KWF haar onderzoek “Customized cord blood-derived dendritic cells to get better disease control in refractory childhood cancers”. Het persbericht van het KWF vindt u hier
Niek van Til (Boelens/Nierkens group) received a KWF grant (Dutch Cancer Society) for his project:
Development of superior Wilms’tumor 1 specific gene modified CORD BLOOD T cells to treat refractory acute myeloid leukemia patients.
Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a type of cancer that can be treated by transplanting blood stem cells. Even though this treatment is curative in some patients, unfortunately, the cancer often reappears later in life. In the “pediatric blood and marrow transplantation program” at the UMC Utrecht, we use donor umbilical CORD BLOOD cells as a source of stem cells for transplantation. The KWF project is designed to enhance the development of cord blood-derived tumor specific T cells to eliminate the leukemic cells. To achieve this we will use techniques to modify the genetic content of T cells in a safe and permanent manner. We expect that the findings result in a broad applicability of effective allogeneic off-the-shelf T cell therapies extending also to other types of cancers in both children and adults.
Yesterday, Lotte receiveda $500 ASH Abstract Achievement Award for her abstract titled Effective Treatment of Severe Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease with a Combination of B-Cell Depletion and Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition (#4565). The ASH Abstract Achievement Award is merit-based and awarded to trainees with high-scoring annual meeting abstracts.
Congratulations on your achievement Lotte!!
You can read the abstract here
In the Video Journal of Hematological Oncology, Jürgen Kuball, MD, PhD from the University Medical Center, Utrecht (the Netherlands), presents this week some key messages on transplantation which he believes are important in this field at present. Dr Kuball starts by discussing the huge variability in transplant products which are infused in to patients today which he believes to be hugely neglected though it is recognised that this has an impact on patient impact. Dr Kuball goes on to discuss how drugs can be used to ensure patients do not develop graft versus host (GVD) after transplantation based on the patient’s immune constitution. Highlighting the importance of identifying smaller, smarter trials to test such drugs, Dr Kuball believes this is necessary in order to rapidly progress in this field. The item was recorded at the International Transplant Course which was held at the 2016 congress of the European Society for Blood and Narrow Transplantation in Barcelona, Spain.
OCTOBER 3, 2016
Strategies before, during, and after hematopoietic cell transplantation to improve T-cell immune-reconstitution
Coco de Koning, Stefan Nierkens, Jaap Jan Boelens
OCTOBER 4, 2016
Rick Admiraal, Caroline A. Lindemans, Charlotte van Kesteren, Marc B. Bierings, A. BirgittaVersluys, Stefan Nierkens, Jaap Jan Boelens
Confusion between the FcR gamma chain and the cytokine receptor gamma chain
As a scientist in the field of Fc receptors and Immunology for more than 20 years I often notice the confusion between the FcR gamma chain and the cytokine receptor gamma chain. I sometimes get requests from students for the common gamma chain, whereas the FcR gamma chain is meant, or scientist order wrong knockout mice. To end this confusion, we have written this letter to Immunity on the structure and function of cytokine receptors and signaling via the common gamma chain and compare this to the activating Fc receptors and the signaling by the Fc receptor associated gamma chain. Both gamma chains share some signaling pathways, but in sequence, function, cellular distribution, and chromosome location they diverge.
With this letter we hope we can end the confusion about the FcR gamma versus the common gamma chain, and would appreciate it very much if you could indicate the FCER1G encoded protein with Fc receptor gamma chain (FcRg) in all of your publications.
On Thursday September 22, Saskia Meyer of the Immunotherapy group of the LTI, will defend her thesis: “IgA: Intriguing good Alternative antibody therapy for solid and hematological cancers” at 12.45 hrs in the Academiegebouw, Domplein 5 in Utrecht.
We have taken this opportunity to organize a short symposium on Immunotherapy of cancer, Wednesday September 21 from 13-17 hrs in the Boothzaal, Heidelberglaan 3, De Uithof, Utrecht. During this symposium, several invited speakers and our collaborators will give an overview of developments in Immunotherapy. You can find the program here
New project from the lab group Boelens/Nierkens: cord blood derived dendritic cell vaccine (combination immunotherapy anti-neuroblastoma). Currently pre-clinical, aiming for clinical translation within 2 to 3 years. Youtube film, click here
Nieuw project van de lab groep Boelens/Nierkens: navelstrengbloed dendritische cel vaccinatie (combinatie immunotherapie anti-neuroblastomaam). Momenteel is dit nog een pre-klinisch project (dus nog in ontwikkeling). Verwacht wordt dat er over 2-3 jaar eerste klinische studies kunnen starten. Klik hier voor meer uitleg middels een filmpje
Jaap Jan Boelens elected to the position of Europe, Regional VP-Elect on the ISCT Europe Regional Executive Committee
Jaap Jan Boelens was elected to the position of Europe/Middle East, Regional VP-Elect on the ISCT Europe Regional Executive Committee.
His term as VP-Elect will be from June 2016 to June 2018
After 2 years of VP-elect 2 years of Regional VP Europe/Middle East (to 2020)
The official statement from the ISCT:
I am pleased to inform you that ISCT has successfully completed its elections for 2016 and you have been elected to the position of Europe, Regional VP-Elect on the ISCT Europe Regional Executive Committee. Your experience will be a great asset to the Society as you take on this leadership role and I look forward to working with you.
The term of your position will be from June 2016-2018, commencing soon after the 2016 Annual Meeting. SCT is a global society of clinicians, regulators, technologists, and industry partners with a shared vision to translate cellular therapy into safe and effective therapies to improve patients’ lives. ISCT Members gain access to an influential global community of peers, experts, and organizations invested in cell therapy. ISCT offers a unique collaboration between academia, regulatory bodies, and industry partners in cell therapy translation.
Press Release: Gadeta closes EUR 7 million Series A financing to advance novel cancer immunotherapies to the clinic
Utrecht, the Netherlands – March 29, 2016 - Gadeta B.V., a Dutch start-up company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies based on gamma delta (γδ) T cell receptors, announced today the completion of a EUR 7 million Series A financing round led by Baxalta Ventures and Medicxi Ventures. Founders, management and Utrecht Holdings also participated. Geeta Vemuri from Baxalta Ventures and Michèle Ollier and Giovanni Mariggi from Medicxi Ventures will join the supervisory board. The company was founded by Dr. Jürgen Kuball, Mark de Boer, Utrecht Holdings and Medicxi Ventures (which provided seed capital).
Gadeta’s technology platform is based on the ground-breaking discoveries of Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kuball regarding the role of γδ T cell receptors in the broad recognition of the metabolic differences in hematological and solid tumor cells, and their potential use for the treatment of advanced malignancies. Dr. Kuball, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Gadeta, chairs the section of applied & tumor-immunology within the laboratory of translational immunology at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht), as well as the Department of Hematology (adults), and is the Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at the UMC Utrecht.
Mark de Boer, co-founder and acting CEO of Gadeta, said: “Supported by the Series A financing, we’re excited to accelerate our programs and rapidly advance them to the clinic. With its unique ability to target the metabolic changes in tumor cells, the strong therapeutic potential of our platform holds tremendous promise for the treatment of hematological and solid tumors.”
Gadeta expects to start a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of its lead program in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in early 2017. In parallel, the company intends to optimize a closed manufacturing system to allow for the start of a second clinical trial in solid tumors later in 2017
Founded in 2015, Gadeta has developed a technology platform based on combinatorial T Cell receptor exchange (CTE) to create optimized gamma delta (γδ) T-cell receptors (TCRs) with an enhanced anti-cancer reactivity. Gadeta’s new cell-based anti-cancer product called T Cells Engineered To Express A Defined Gamma Delta TCR (TEGs) has strong therapeutic potential for combating and eradicating both hematological and solid tumors. This approach utilizes high-affinity γδ TCRs expressed on αβ T cells with superior proliferation capacity. For more information: www.gadeta.nl.
For further enquiries:
Mark de Boer, PhD Hans Herklots (media)
acting-CEO Capricorn One
+31 654 311 946 +41 79 598 7149
About Medicxi Ventures
Medicxi Ventures is a life sciences focused venture capital firm recently spun out of Index Ventures. One of Europe’s largest dedicated life sciences VC firms, Medicxi Ventures has offices in London, Jersey and Geneva. Past and existing portfolio companies include for example GenMab (Copenhagen: GEN.CO), PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott), Minerva Neurosciences (Nasdaq: NERV), Egalet (Nasdaq: EGLT), Molecular Partners (Swiss: MOLN.SW), Versartis (Nasdaq: VSAR), Levicept, XO1 (acquired by J&J). Morphogen-IX, and Gadeta. For more information, please visit us at MedicxiVentures.com and connect with us on Twitter and Linkedin.
About Baxalta Ventures
Baxalta Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Baxalta Incorporated (NYSE: BXLT) with over $200 million under management, and is a core facet of Baxalta’s R&D strategy. Baxalta is a global biopharmaceutical leader developing, manufacturing and commercializing therapies for orphan diseases and underserved conditions in hematology, immunology and oncology. Driven by passion to make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives, Baxalta’s broad and diverse pipeline includes biologics with novel mechanisms and advanced technology platforms such as gene therapy. For more information: http://www.baxalta.com/ventures
About Utrecht Holdings
Utrecht Holdings (UH) is the Knowledge Transfer Office of and is active as an investor for Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht). UH is focused on the utilization and commercialization of academic research. UH supports scientists in creating, building and investing in innovations with a particular expertise in biotech, medtech, education and ICT. Since 1996, UH has assisted Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht in attracting significant amounts of research money, filed over 150 patents, closed many license agreements, and established over 40 spin-off companies. www.utrechtholdings.nl
We are more than happy to introduce to you Jurgen Langenhorst and Celina Szanto. Jurgen and Celine are 2 new PhD-students, who recently joint our group. We really look forward to work with them in upcoming years. Jurgen will work on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Fludarabine, and Celina will unravel the functional dynamics of the immune system in neuroblastoma patients. Please read the short bio’s + recent photo's below.
My name is Celina Szanto and I’m a PhD student in de lab of Jaap Jan Boelens and Stefan Nierkens. After obtaining my high school degree at Gymnasium Beekvliet in Sint-Michielsgestel, I went to Leuven (Belgium) to study Biomedical Sciences. After a broad bachelor I continued my master in Biomedical Sciences with a strong focus on genetics.
During my master thesis in de Laboratory of Reproductive Genomics at the KU Leuven I performed single-cell sequencing to study genomic instability in breast cancer and human embryos. Here I discovered my passion for research and decided to start my PhD in the Netherlands. My interest for tumor immunology started during a short internship in the Laboratory of Pediatric Immunology at the KU Leuven.
With a broad scientific background I hope to increase the survival changes of Neuroblastoma patients by unraveling the functional dynamics of the immune system. In addition, we will investigate the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties of anti-GD2 (dinutuximab) in Neuroblastoma patients in relation to efficacy versus toxicity.
I’m always open for new ideas! If you are interested, feel free to contact me via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/celinaszanto
In 2005 I started my studies at the Utrecht University school of pharmacy. From the beginning on I combined studying with a rowing career starting at the national level, but growing towards internationalcompetition later on. Besides high performance sports a common theme during my studies was oncology. It started with fundamental research regarding development of temperature sensitive liposomes loaded with doxorubicin followed by another internshipwhere I implemented a new radiopharmaceutical for imaging of Neuro-Endocrine tumors in a hospital setting. After finishing my studies I started working as a pharmacist in the UMC Utrecht at the preparation department, where among others cytostatic drugs are prepared.
I hope to combine my knowledge of cancer and chemotherapy with my mindset derived from sports, towards aiding in improving dosage of fludarabine in stem cell transplantations.