April 20, 2021. Today the governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) awarded $14.4 million for two new clinical trials for blood cancer and pediatric brain tumors.
These awards bring the total number of CIRM-funded clinical trials to 70.
$6.0 million was awarded to Immune-Onc Therapeutics to conduct a clinical trial for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), both of which are types of blood cancer. AML affects approximately 20,000 people in the United States each year and has a 5-year survival rate of about 25 percent. Anywhere from 15-30 percent of CMML cases eventually progress into AML.
Paul Woodard, M.D. and his team will treat AML and CMML patients with an antibody therapy called IO-202 that targets leukemic stem cells. The antibody works by blocking a signal named LILRB4 whose expression is connected with decreased rates of survival in AML patients. The goal is to attain complete cancer remissions and prolonged survival.