GEMMA project funded by Lazio Innova
Prot. A0320-2019-28097 “Progetti Strategici anno 2019”, approved with determination G04052 on date 04/04/2019 in the context of POR FESR LAZIO 2014 – published on BURL n. 29 09/04/2019.
Synthesis of the Project
The ambitious project GEMMA has various objectives in the field of T Lymphocyte immunotherapy, in which the cells are genetically modified to express specific chimeric antigen receptors (CAR): a strategy which proved effective against blood cancers. However, this therapeutic approach has not found ground against solid tumours, because of the presence of a microenvironment (TME) whose cell components – among which cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF), extra-cellular matrix (ECM) and soluble factors that make it resistant or immunosuppressive. The identification of CAF related targets could have a positive influence on efficacy and duration of CAR-T therapies. The project will seek to advance precision medicine knowledge in the field, as well as the development of new drugs which target the TME to improve the effectiveness of T Cell therapies (such as BiTE- Bispecific T-Cell Engager antibodies), mostly against non small cell lung cancers (NSCLC).
Aside from Menarini Biotech, which will be involved in BiTEs development, project “GEMMA” will involve OPBG (Ospedale Pediatrico Bambin Gesù) as main coordinator, as well as IFO (Istituto Nazionale Tumori Regina Elena), Takis Biotech and Plaisant. The project is part of the wider group of projects named “IMMUNO”, always co-funded by Lazio Innova and coordinated by OPBG.