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Costa Rica : Intrexon, Ziopharm strike deal with University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Cutting in on the fervor over a new class of immunotherapies for cancer, Partners Intrexon and Ziopharm have signed an agreement with the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The deal will see the partners giving $100 million to MD Anderson for a CAR-T technology, made through a process in which researchers remove T cells from a patient's blood and provide them with targeting mechanisms called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), which seek out and bind to proteins that cancer cells express.

The ensuing cells are re-entered into the patient, at which point they find out malignancies and attack them as they would any normal infection.

MD Anderson's approach, called Sleeping Beauty, makes use of a nonviral gene transfer system to get those modified T cells to their targets, in contrast to major CAR-T therapies from Novartis ($NVS), Juno Therapeutics ($JUNO), Kite Pharma ($KITE) and others.

Researchers say, that offers some safety benefits, as MD Anderson's approach has so far avoided some of the harmful immune responses that have afflicted competing CAR-T programs.

2014 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 16, 2015
Words:185
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