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PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

WindMIL Therapeutics and Stephenson Cancer Center Announce Collaboration to Collect Bone Marrow ...

October 13, 2020 GMT

PHILADELPHIA, BALTIMORE and OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WindMIL Therapeutics (WindMIL) and Stephenson Cancer Center today announced that the first patients have been identified in an investigator-sponsored study for the collection of bone marrow from patients with renal (RCC) and urothelial carcinomas (UC). The study will evaluate generating marrow infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs®) for these patients through WindMIL’s proprietary cellular activation and expansion process. The study is being conducted at Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Medicine in Oklahoma City, OK.

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“While treatment options for RCC and UC have expanded, there still remains a great need for these patients,” said Abhishek Tripathi, MD, a genitourinary medical oncologist and Assistant Professor at Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Medicine. “We’re excited to work with WindMIL to explore the potential of MILs to treat patients with advanced kidney and bladder cancer as we seek safer, more effective ways to address these diseases.”

An estimated 65,000 new cases of RCC and 81,400 new cases of UC are diagnosed in the United States each year. Adoptive immunotherapy is a promising approach for RCC and UC and the use of MILs, a cell therapy that is naturally tumor-specific, is one such treatment option.

The bone marrow is a unique niche in the immune system to which antigen-experienced memory T cells traffic and are then maintained. WindMIL has developed a proprietary process to activate, transform and expand these memory T cells into MILs. Because memory T cells in bone marrow occur as a result of the immune system’s recognition of tumor antigens, MILs are specifically suited for adoptive cellular immunotherapy and directly eradicate or facilitate eradication of each patient’s unique cancer. WindMIL is currently studying the use of MILs to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, breast cancer, glioblastoma, and plans to expand into other solid tumors.

“We are proud to be collaborating with Stephenson Cancer Center to learn more about MILs as a potential therapy for patients with RCC and UC,” said Monil Shah, PharmD, MBA, Chief Development Officer at WindMIL. “This is an important milestone in WindMIL’s ongoing plan to evaluate MILs in solid tumors beyond NSCLC.”

About Marrow-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (MILs®)
Marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs®) are developed through a proprietary process to activate, transform and expand T cells found in each patient’s bone marrow. Distinguishing features of bone marrow T cells include their memory phenotype, inherent tumor antigen-specificity, higher CD8:CD4 ratio and ability to persist long term when compared to peripheral blood lymphocytes. Because memory T cells in bone marrow occur as a result of the immune system’s recognition of tumor antigens, MILs are specifically suited for adoptive cellular immunotherapy and directly eradicate or facilitate eradication of each patient’s unique cancer. MILs are being investigated in clinical studies as ‘non gene-modified’ therapeutics and are under development as an alternative and potentially superior cell source to peripheral blood T cells for CAR-T therapy (CAR-MILs™). WindMIL believes that the unique aspects of the respective profiles of MILs and CAR-MILs position them in distinct areas of the oncology treatment landscape. WindMIL is currently studying the use of MILs to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, breast cancer, glioblastoma, renal cell carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma, and plans to expand into other solid tumors. To date, more than 100 patients have received treatment with MILs and ongoing studies continue to build upon the favorable safety profile and promising efficacy seen in early development.

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About WindMIL Therapeutics
WindMIL Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing a novel class of autologous cell therapies based on marrow-infiltrating lymphocyte (MILs®) products for cancer immunotherapy. As the leader in bone marrow-derived T cell therapies, WindMIL translates novel insights in bone marrow immunology into life-saving cancer immunotherapeutics for patients. The company’s proprietary process to activate, transform and expand these cells offers unique immunotherapeutic advantages, including inherent tumor-specificity, high cytotoxic potential and long persistence. For more information, please visit:  https://windmiltx.com.

About the Stephenson Cancer Center
Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Medicine was named Oklahoma’s top facility for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020-21 rankings. As Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, Stephenson Cancer Center is one of the nation’s elite centers, representing the top 2% of cancer centers in the country. It is the largest and most comprehensive oncology practice in the state, delivering patient-centered, multidisciplinary care for every type of cancer. As one of the nation’s leading research organizations, Stephenson Cancer Center uses the latest innovations to fight and eliminate cancer, and is currently ranked No. 1 among all cancer centers in the nation for the number of patients participating in clinical trials sponsored by the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. For more information, visit stephensoncancercenter.org.

About OU Medicine
OU Medicine — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Medicine is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Medicine serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. Becker’s Hospital Review named OU Medical Center one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America for 2020. OU Medicine’s oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center was named Oklahoma’s top facility for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020-21 rankings. OU Medicine was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in these specialties: Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Medicine’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.

WindMIL Therapeutics Media Contact:
Gina Cestari
6 Degrees
(917) 797-7904
gcestari@6degreespr.com  

OU Medicine Media Contact:
April Sandefer
Director of Communications
(405) 323-8552
April.sandefer@oumedicine.com