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Clinical Strategy for Enhancing Affini-T Therapeutics’ Merkel Polyoma Virus TCR Therapy to be Presented at ASCO 2022


BOSTON, Mass., and SEATTLE, Wash. – June 2, 2022 – Affini-T Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company unlocking the power of T cells against oncogenic driver mutations, today announced that the clinical strategy for enhancing the efficacy of its Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV)-specific T cell receptor (TCR) program for the treatment of PD-1 refractory Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), from its strategic collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2022. The poster presentation will be delivered by Joshua Veatch, M.D., Ph.D., from Fred Hutch.

“We recognize that MCC patients are in desperate need of new treatments, in particular due to having no curative therapeutic options and a five-year survival rate of less than ten percent in those who have developed widespread disease,” said Loïc Vincent, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Affini-T. “The clinical strategy to be presented at ASCO is the result of tumor biopsy analyses generated from treating MCC patients and reflects the recent addition of an MHC-I boosting molecule to the MCPyV-specific T cell Phase I/II study protocol. By enhancing MHC-I expression on MCC tumors, we hope to minimize immune system evasion and maximize the clinical efficacy of MCPyV-specific T cells to treat MCC patients.”

Poster presentation details are as follows:

Title: ATTAC-MCC: Phase I/II study of Autologous CD8+ and CD4+ Transgenic T cells expressing a high-affinity MCPyV-specific TCR combined with checkpoint inhibitors and Class I MHC-upregulation in patients with metastatic MCC refractory to PD-1 axis blockade
Presenting Author: Joshua Veatch, M.D., Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Abstract Number: TPS9596
Poster Number: 186b
Poster Session Title: Melanoma/Skin Cancers
Date & Time: June 6, 2022, 2:15 PM EDT

About Merkel Cell Carcinoma and Merkel Cell Polyomavirus
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a highly aggressive skin cancer, with an incidence that has doubled in the last 20 years to approximately 3,000 cases per year in the U.S. Over one-third of patients will develop widespread disease and outcomes for these patients have been historically poor with a five-year survival rate of less than ten percent. Cancer-causing Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is expressed in most MCC tumors and can be leveraged to target these tumors. Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) targeting relevant biochemical pathways show promise, most MCC patients will eventually relapse. There is no standard of care for patients whose cancer has become resistant to ICIs. We believe that cellular immune therapies targeting MCPyV may provide additional clinical benefit to these patients.

About Affini-T Therapeutics
Affini-T is unlocking the power of T cells and targeting core oncogenic drivers to develop potentially curative therapies for solid tumor cancers. Our differentiated cell therapy platform harnesses state-of-the-art engineering and synthetic biology capabilities to target even the most devastating cancer-driving mutations, beginning with KRAS. We leverage these tools to optimize T cell functions and rewrite the rules of the solid tumor microenvironment, enabling the potential for sustained clinical outcomes in patients. Building on the world-class innovation inherent in our leadership team, founders and technologies, we are powered to develop transformational medicines that last. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Danielle Cantey
Canale Communications

Ian Stone
Canale Communications

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