Thinly traded micro cap Endocyte (NASDAQ:ECYT) perks up 8% premarket on light volume in response to its announcement of new research supporting the value of its small molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) in reducing the risk of excessive cytokine release in patients receiving CAR-T therapy. The data were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, DC.
Research conducted at Purdue University Center for Drug Discovery showed Endocyte's bi-specific SMDC adaptors can control the rate and extent of CAR T-cell activation by using a bispecific adaptor molecule to mediate engagement of the CAR T-cell with the cancer cell. The approach enables a universal CAR T-cell to bind and kill a cancer cell only when the bispecific adaptor creates a bridge between the two.
The technology can potentially control a major problem with CAR-T therapies when they work too well. The subsequent over-release of cytokines, called a cytokine storm, can be life-threatening if not controlled.
The company and Purdue have exclusive agreements in place to research, develop and commercialize SMDC therapeutics and companion imaging agents. Endocyte has exclusive rights to the CAR T-cell and SMDC adaptors for all indications.