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Unum Therapeutics Announces US Patent Protection for ACTR Technology

  • US Patent and Trademark Office Issues US Patent 10,144,770 Covering Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptors (ACTR)
  • Broad Claims Provide Composition of Matter Protection for Cell Therapies and Their Methods of Use
  • Unum Controls Exclusive World-Wide Patent Rights for ACTR Therapies

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unum Therapeutics Inc. (UMRX), announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued US patent 10,144,770, entitled “Chimeric Receptors and Uses Thereof in Immune Therapy.” The ‘770 patent covers design and use of the chimeric Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) platform technology that enables an engineered immune cell to be targeted via an antibody to attack certain cell types, including cancer cells. An ACTR-expressing T cell offers a number of potential advantages over alternative cell therapy approaches and clinical proof-of-concept for the ACTR technology has been demonstrated in two independent clinical trials sponsored by Unum Therapeutics. ACTR therapeutic programs targeting non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and HER2+ advanced cancers are currently in early stages of clinical testing.

The initial ACTR construct was developed by Dr. Dario Campana, a well-renowned cancer researcher recognized as an inventor of the chimeric antigen receptor that forms the basis for tisagenlecleucel, the world’s first approved CAR-T therapy. Working initially at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and later at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Campana and his team were able to demonstrate in mouse studies that ACTR-expressing T cells exhibit potent anti-tumor activity. Researchers at Unum Therapeutics extended upon this work, demonstrating that a wide range of functional ACTR receptors could be constructed using different building blocks derived from various human immune cell receptors.

Under the terms of a 2014 three-way license agreement between Unum Therapeutics, the National University of Singapore, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Unum Therapeutics controls exclusive, world-wide rights to develop and commercialize ACTR therapies covered by the ‘770 patent. Unum has continued to build a broad patent portfolio encompassing further enhancements to and novel applications of the ACTR technology. In addition to the ‘770 patent covering ACTR in the United States, previously granted patents protect the technology in Europe, Japan, and other important territories. The full text of the ‘770 patent is available from the US Patent and Trademark Office website at http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10144770.PN.&OS=PN/10144770&RS=PN/10144770.

About Unum Therapeutics

Unum Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient’s immune system to cure cancer. Unum’s novel proprietary technologies include Antibody-Coupled T cell Receptor (ACTR), a universal, engineered cell therapy intended to be used in combination with a wide range of tumor-specific antibodies to target different tumor types, and Bolt-On Chimeric Receptor (BOXR), an approach for improving T cell functionality to enable solid tumor cancer applications. Unum has three product candidates currently in Phase I clinical testing, including: ACTR707 used in combination with rituximab, an anti-CD20 antibody, in adult patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (r/r NHL); ACTR087 used in combination with the novel antibody SEA-BCMA in adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma; and ACTR707 used in combination with trastuzumab, an anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) antibody, in adult patients with HER2+ advanced cancer.

The Company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA.

Forward looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release about our future expectations, plans and prospects, including projections regarding the anticipated timing of our clinical trials and regulatory filings, our long-term growth and our ability to achieve our strategy, the design of our clinical trials, the development of our product candidates, including the three lead ACTR product candidates, the results of our clinical trials, as well as other statements containing the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "target," "will," or "would" and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We may not actually achieve the forecasts disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from the projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make as a result of a variety of risks and uncertainties, including risks related to the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses, future revenues, capital requirements, and the need for additional financing, the success, cost and timing of our product development activities and clinical trials, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates, and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" sections of our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent our views as of the date hereof. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments may cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof.

Investor Contact:
Stephanie Ascher, 212-362-1200

Media Contact:
Paul Kidwell, 617-680-1088