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The Clinical Trials Industry’s Weekly News Update

Turnstone teams with CRCHUM for TIL research and maybe trials

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Turnstone Biologics has established a research collaboration with the University of Montreal that may expand to include clinical trials.

The deal with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre – which is known as CRCHUM based on the acronym of its name in French – will seek to advance research in the field of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), which are Turnstone’s core focus.

The goal is to identify genome alterations and tumor-specific antigens from different tumor types and to “further streamline the process for identification, direct selection and expansion of Turnstone’s tumor-reactive TILs,” according to the firm.

The Research Centre could also play host to clinical trials of any of Turnstone’s TIL that are taken forward according to a press statement.

Simon Turcotte, associate professor of surgery at CRCHUM, said “This collaboration between CRCHUM and Turnstone Biologics, the first of its kind in Canada, engages us on the exciting path of developing next-generation TILs aimed at better recognizing cancer cells.

“By bringing together CRCHUM’s unique capabilities with Turnstone’s technology platform, and by applying our own complementary cell therapy research efforts, we see significant potential to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients.”

The CRCHUM opened its early phase clinical trial unit in 2019. The 680 square metres, 15 bed facility supports Phase I and II clinical studies in a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology and neurology.

The deal comes less than a year after Turnstone forged a multi-year research collaboration with the Florida-based Moffitt Cancer Center for pre-clinical development of its investigational TIL therapies.

News of the CRCHUM collaboration comes just a few weeks after Turnstone rejigged its executive team, naming Venkat Ramanan as Chief Financial Officer and P. Joseph Campisi Jr. as General Counsel.

At the time the firm said the new hires would serve to strengthen the financial, legal and business operations at the company.

Image: Stock Photo Secrets

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