By Kim Polacek, APR, CPRC - July 07, 2022
Moffitt Cancer Center has a new teammate in the fight against cancer. The cancer center announced a new strategic alliance with Turnstone Biologics Corp., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation immunotherapies to treat solid tumors. This partnership builds on an existing multiyear research collaboration focusing on the development of new tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, therapies. A Moffitt-sponsored phase 1 clinical trial evaluating TIDAL-01, Turnstone’s lead TIL therapy candidate, in cutaneous and noncutaneous melanoma is expected to launch later this year.
"Our landmark strategic alliance with Turnstone underscores Moffitt’s commitment to bold research initiatives and groundbreaking clinical studies for the benefit of cancer patients who have limited or no effective treatment options."- Dr. Patrick Hwu, Moffitt President and CEO
“Our landmark strategic alliance with Turnstone underscores Moffitt’s commitment to bold research initiatives and groundbreaking clinical studies for the benefit of cancer patients who have limited or no effective treatment options,” said Moffitt President and CEO Dr. Patrick Hwu. “Cell therapy is a key area of focus at Moffitt, and we are impressed by Turnstone’s novel approach to TIL therapy. We look forward to initiating the clinical study in melanoma and continuing to grow this valuable relationship with Turnstone.”
TIL is a type of immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Surgeons remove a patient’s tumor and send it to a lab. The tumor is then dissected to remove the tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, T cells that have been able to penetrate it. These cells, which can detect and invade the tumor, are then multiplied by the billions in a process that takes at least one month. Once infused back into the patient, the army of T cells can seek and kill the cancer cells.
As part of the new strategic alliance, Moffitt will collaborate on the development of Turnstone’s pipeline of selected TILs for solid tumor indications, including melanoma, breast and colorectal cancers. The cancer center will also assist Turnstone with TIL manufacturing for upcoming clinical studies.