LIfT BioSciences announced today that they have embarked on a collaboration with King’s College London, under the London Advanced Therapies (LAT) Collaborate to Innovate Programme, supported by MedCity, to develop a next generation iPSC version of their cell therapy product, N-LIfT. 

N-LIfT (Neutrophil based Leukocyte Infusion Therapy) is a first-in-class Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Product (ATMP) for destroying all solid tumours, irrespective of strain or mutation, that is currently being prepared for clinical trials in 2022. The cell therapy works by taking the stem cells of a special type of donor who is a carrier for a special N1a type of neutrophil (the most prolific white blood cell in the human body) and then mass producing these special cancer killing N1a neutrophils for use in patients. In effect, transferring the exceptional cancer killing ability to cancer patients. The result is expected to be akin to the well-known, but until now little understood, phenomena of spontaneous remission.

The current N-LIfT product is dependent on a constant supply of rare donors. While, LIfT is constantly improving the volume of N-LIfT that can be produced from a single donor, there is an anticipated natural limit of perhaps 100 patients being treated off one donor. If the new therapy is as successful as the team expect it to be this would not provide ample global supply across the broad range of solid tumour types that the therapy could potentially be used in. 

The new collaboration into using iPSCs could allow donors stem cells to be turned into iPSCs that can potentially be multiplied (expanded) hundreds of thousands of times more than hematopoietic stem cells can. iPSCs are Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells that were recently discovered as a way to mass produce almost any type of cell from almost any other type of cell. The ambition of the company is to develop a second generation N-LIfT called iN-LIfT, and produce enough iN-LIfT to become completely donor independent in the futureWhile, the current N-LIfT is expected to be far cheaper as an off-the-shelf allogeneic (not from self) than many of the autologous (from self) cell therapies that have recently come to market, it is still not at the level of existing standards of care. The ambition for using iPSCs is to enable global supply of iN-LIfT across all tumour types and an even more cost-effective therapy for patients that enables the potentially breakthrough therapy to be used earlier in patient’s treatment in the future to save more lives. 

Alex Blyth, CEO of LIfT BioSciences announced:

“This is a very exciting collaboration that could potentially get us into understanding the potential of this next generation N-LIfT at this very early-stage. What I am hoping to see is a way to bring to market an even more affordable cancer cure that could be produced in even larger volumes and get used earlier in therapy to ultimately save more lives. However, these things can take time and so our focus remains on getting our first therapy N-LIfT to patients as soon as possible” 

Davide Danovi, Director of Cell Phenotyping at the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London, commented:

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring the capabilities developed within the framework of the Stem Cell Hotel to fruition for the development of innovative cell therapies. We gratefully acknowledge support from the National Institute for Health Research Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre. We are grateful to London Advanced Therapies and LIfT for considering and supporting us and engaging in this project.”  

Francesca Gliubich, Director of London Advanced Therapies said: 

“We are proud of being able to play a part in supporting cutting edge research collaborations such as this. We believe that improving the connectivity of Industry partners with the London Academic Community is key to translating exciting discoveries into improved health outcomes.”

The collaboration has come about through London Advanced Therapies Collaborate to Innovate scheme (managed through MedCity), that LIfT BioSciences has now won for a second time. The Collaborate to Innovate scheme has been a highly successful scheme that aims to identify SMEs with innovations or applied research needs and to match them to university research groups with complementary skills or expertise, with the end goal of successfully commercialising innovations. 

Alex Blyth commented on the LAT Collaborate to Innovate Scheme:

“We really owe our early success to winning the collaborate to innovate scheme back in 2017, so to win it again is really great! The scheme enabled us to do things early that just would not have been possible back then for an SME of our size back then, and even now I find it a much more effective and results driven way to work with Universities because it helps focus everyone’s efforts behind a common goal.” 

About LIfT BioSciences: LIfT Biosciences is a Biotech bringing to market a 1st in class allogeneic innate cell therapy called Neutrophil Only Leukocyte Infusion Therapy (N-LIfT). N-LIfT has the game-changing potential to destroy all solid tumours irrespective of mutation or strain. N-LIfT uses a special type of N1a neutrophil with special cancer killing and immune recruitment capabilities. Our vision is to develop the world’s first cell bank of mass produced ‘cancer killing neutrophils’ to deliver a portfolio of immuno-oncology cell therapies for delivering complete remission in all solid tumours. LIfT BioSciences was founded by Alex Blyth following the death of his mother to pancreatic cancer. Please note that the company is not yet ready to take on patients for use in any capacity. For more, see www.liftbiosciences.com. 

About King’s College London: King’s College London is one of the top 10 UK universities in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2018/19) and among the oldest in England. King’s has more than 31,000 students (including more than 12,800 postgraduates) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 8,500 staff.  

King’s has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*).  

Since our foundation, King’s students and staff have dedicated themselves in the service of society. King’s will continue to focus on world-leading education, research and service, and will have an increasingly proactive role to play in a more interconnected, complex world. Visit our website to find out more about Vision 2029, King’s strategic vision for the next 12 years to 2029, which will be the 200th anniversary of the founding of the university.   

About London Advanced Therapies: London Advanced Therapies is a Research England funded programme that brings together the London Academic Community working in the field of Cell and Gene Therapies. Among our initiatives, we work to help Biotech companies connecting to the leading experts in Academia, supporting collaborative efforts through the Collaborate to Innovate funding scheme. Collaborate to Innovate, delivered by MedCity, is providing an intensive end-to-end solution for SMEs working on Cell and Gene Therapies. Participating SMEs receive support up to the value of £150,000 to tap into academic expertise and key capabilities from the delivery partners. LAT Collaborate to Innovate is funded by Research England and the European Regional Development Fund 

About MedCity: MedCity is the life sciences cluster organisation for London and the Greater South East of England. Set-up in 2014 by the Mayor of London and the region’s Academic Health Science Centres, MedCity is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the Greater London Authority and Research England. MedCity’s mission is to advance cutting-edge health and life science innovation in London, the Greater South East of England and beyond. The organisation plays a pivotal role in bridging industry, NHS and academia by supporting industry growth and investment, increasing research collaborations and amplifying the region’s strengths, particularly in Advanced Therapies, Health Data and AI.