Recently, BiocurePharm, Korea (“BPK”), a subsidiary of biopharmaceutical company Brochure Technology Corp., shared that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Symbasis GmbH (“Symbasis”). Together, the pair will work to develop a CAR-T cell therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
According to Investopedia, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) is:
an agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document. It is not legally binding but signals the willingness of the parties to move forward with a contract.
Investopedia continues to explain that the MOU is very similar to a letter of intent. It explains that the two parties are in agreement on the final goal of the project, and are willing to work together to complete it. In this case, BPK and Symbasis are hoping to develop Oncocart in Germany. This Joint Venture would help the pair develop a CAR T-cell therapy for CLL, as well as hold clinical trials, and proceed with both drug production and marketing throughout Europe. The National Cancer Institute describes CAR-T cell therapy as:
A type of treatment in which a patient’s T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. [After being] taken from a patient’s blood, [the] gene for a special [chimeric antigen] receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells in the laboratory.
After these cells are laboratory-grown and given back to the patients during infusions, the therapy helps combat cancer. Specifically, this therapy is centered around hematological malignancies.
Advisors for Oncocart will include, but are not limited to:
- Goldberg Consulting
- Dr. Karl-Anton Kreuzer, who has previously worked in treatment around acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and hematological neoplasia
- Dr. Cristoph Scheid, whose prior work has included experimental tumor therapies, autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and multiple myeloma
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Although doctors are not sure of the exact cause of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), they do know that a genetic mutation in blood-producing cell DNA causes the production of abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. As these lymphocytes multiply, they begin to build up throughout the body. Ultimately, this results in health issues, especially when they crowd healthy blood cells out of the bone marrow. As a result, patients develop this blood and bone marrow cancer. Typically, many patients with early-stage CLL do not show symptoms. However, as symptoms develop, these may include:
- Night sweats
- Frequent infections
- Unintended weight loss
- Swollen, but painless, lymph nodes
- Spleen enlargement
- Abdominal pain, specifically in the upper left portion of the abdomen
- Easy bruising and bleeding