Kizoo, part of the Forever Healthy Foundation, has announced today that it will be supporting biotech company LIfT Biosciences, a company that focuses on creating a new generation of cancer therapies that use our own immune systems.
Turning our immune system into a cancer-fighting machine
Led by CEO Alex Blyth, LIfT Biosciences is developing a new type of cancer immunotherapy approach that uses neutrophils, a type of immune cell, to seek and destroy all types of solid tumors.
Neutrophils are a particular type of white blood cell that protect us from infections and perform other functions. They comprise around 40 to 60 percent of the total number of white blood cells in our bodies and are the first immune cells to arrive during a bacterial infection.
The company is developing the world’s first cell bank of neutrophils that are designed to seek and destroy any solid tumor, regardless of its particular strain and unique genetic makeup, providing a more universal approach to cancer. The cell bank would potentially be able to supply a range of cell therapies to deal with different types of solid tumors, and it uses a cell therapy system known as Neutrophil only Leukocyte Infusion Therapy (N-LIfT). The system uses an ex-vivo approach and could be more cost-effective than other approaches using leukocyte therapy.
The company is initially going after a form of pancreatic cancer known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which has a very low survival rate, with only 3% of patients diagnosed surviving for five years. It is currently finishing up its preclinical research prior to launching a human clinical trial. The goal of the trial will be to demonstrate remission in high unmet-need solid tumour cancers by 2021, which will include pancreatic cancers such as PDAC.
Frank Schueler, the Managing Director of Kizoo Technology Capital, had this to say about the announcement:
We met the LIfT Bioscience CEO, Alex Blyth, some time ago. Their data immediately caught our attention.
LIfT is a British oncology biotech. Their approach is based on an extraordinary mouse that was found by chance at Wake Forest University (Prof. Zheng Cui) more than 10 years ago. The strain has become known as SR/CR mice (spontaneous regression/complete remission) because these mice reject any tumour of any dose (even a 10^6 times lethal dose, see publications).
LIfT is bringing to market a first-in-class allogeneic innate cell therapy called Neutrophil only Leukocyte Infusion Therapy (N-LIfT). N-LIfT has the game-changing potential to destroy all solid tumours irrespective of mutation or strain. N-LIfT uses a special type of N1a neutrophil with special cancer killing and immune recruitment capabilities. They are about to develop the world’s first cell bank of mass-produced ‘cancer killing neutrophils’ to deliver a portfolio of immuno-oncology cell therapies for delivering complete remission in all solid tumours, with an initial focus on high unmet-need tumours such as those found in the lung, liver, and pancreas.
LIfT BioSciences’ N-LIfT therapy platform is an off-the-shelf allogeneic product that is mass produced from exceptional stem cells from donors with exceptional immunity. LIfT BioSciences are the industry leaders in neutrophil ATMPs; the team is made up of a combination of experienced industry leaders and leading experts. LIfT has already proven to be 100% curative in mice with promising human data in an FDA-approved safety trial that has shown remarkable tumour necrosis.
Cancer is very much a poster child of age-related diseases, and while it can happen to younger people, it is predominantly a disease of the old. Using our own immune cells that have been modified to be more effective at fighting cancer is a very promising approach and could hopefully replace harsh chemotherapy in the not-too-distant future.
Perhaps a decade ago, it may have been a real struggle to obtain funding for such work; however, more recently, there has been been a real sea change as more money has flooded into the field. The once taboo suggestion that targeting the aging processes directly in order to delay or prevent age-related diseases has faded into the shadows as new thinking prevails over entrenched ideas. If anything, there is now plenty of funding available at the investment level but a lack of companies working on meaningful approaches in which to invest.
It is great to see that the Forever Healthy Foundation is providing support for yet another promising biotech company working on age-related diseases and is another way that this organization is leaving its mark on the field. The Forever Healthy Foundation has also been supporting the drive to end age-related diseases by hosting the superb Undoing Aging conference series every year in Berlin.
We wish LIfT Biosciences and the Forever Healthy Foundation every success in this new partnership, and we will be eagerly following their progress.