naturally selected TCRs

TCR Therapies

T cells play a key role in the immune response by directly recognizing and eliminating infected, foreign or altered cells, such as cancer cells. To do this, they use their T-cell receptors (TCRs) to scan the surface of other cells for foreign antigens presented on Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) complexes.

TCR engineered T cell therapy (TCR-T) is designed to address key limitations in solid tumor therapy

Cancer cells can be recognized by mutated or viral antigens expressed only in the tumor, or self-antigens normally expressed during embryonic development and in non-somatic adult tissues. Genetic engineering of T cells with TCRs recognizing antigens aberrantly or over-expressed in cancers can redirect these T cells to the tumor, potentially offering curative responses to cancer patients.

MyT Platform

The ability to identify potent cancer-specific TCRs has been limiting for the field of TCR-T. In the case of self-antigens, T cells bearing those TCRs are eliminated during T cell development to avoid recognition and attack of healthy tissues. For non-self tumor antigens, such as those derived from viral sequences or mutations, the very low T cell frequency in the blood has limited TCR discovery efforts.

To overcome these challenges, T-knife has developed transgenic mice carrying the human TCRαβ gene loci and expressing multiple human HLAs. Immunizing mice with human tumor antigens, for which mice are not tolerant, allows for the identification of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells with TCRs that have optimized affinity / specificity profiles capable of mediating significant anti-tumor activity. The TCRs from the MyT platform are of higher affinity for tumor self-antigens than TCRs isolated from human donors and are naturally optimized to maintain a high specificity profile, making the MyT platform a powerful high-throughput platform for rapidly generating TCRs with best-in-class potential.

Scientific Publications

Immisch, L., et al. (2023). T-knife’s MyT™ platform for unbiased discovery of most abundant and immunogenic T-cell epitopes. Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting.

Najm, P., et al. (2023). Enhanced anti-tumor activity and T-cell fitness of 2nd-generation MAGE-A1 TCR T-cells incorporating distinct CD8 co-receptor designs. Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting.

Walcher, L., et al. (2023). High-affinity PRAME TCRs synergize with tailored CD8 co-receptor and switch receptors to generate potential best-in-class PRAME-targeting TCR-T therapy. Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting.

Knipping, F., et al. (2023). Counteracting TCR-T cell dysfunction in solid tumors through combination of FAS-based switch receptors and CD8 co-receptor. Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting.

Selck, C., et al. (2023). MAGE-A1 targeting TK-8001 TCR-T cells currently being investigated in the IMAG1NE Phase 1/2 clinical trial demonstrate broad in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activity and are superior to human-derived MAGE-A1 TCRs. International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) Annual Meeting.

Leliavski, A., et al. (2022). Generating optimal-affinity T cell receptors targeting the shared neoantigen KRASG12V using the humanized TCR transgenic mouse platform HuTCR. American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting.

Poncette, L., et al. (2021). The role of CD4 T cells in rejection of solid tumors. Current Opinion in Immunology, 74, 18-24.

Poncette, L., et al. (2019). Effective NY-ESO-1–specific MHC II–restricted T cell receptors from antigen-negative hosts enhance tumor regression. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 129(1), 324–335.

Chen, X., et al. (2017). Human TCR-MHC coevolution after divergence from mice includes increased nontemplate-encoded CDR3 diversity. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 214(11), 3417–3433.

Obenaus, M., et al. (2015). Identification of human T-cell receptors with optimal affinity to cancer antigens using antigen-negative humanized mice. Nature Biotechnology, 33(4), 402-409.

Li, L., & Blankenstein, T. (2013). Generation of transgenic mice with megabase-sized human yeast artificial chromosomes by yeast spheroplast–embryonic stem cell fusion. Nature Protocols, 8(8), 1567-1582.

Li, L-P. (2010). Transgenic mice with a diverse human T cell antigen receptor repertoire. Nature Medicine, 16(9), 1029-1035.