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Combination of recombinant IL-7 with Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cells Targeting Glypican-3 (GPC3) for the Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

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Researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed a combination immunotherapy using Glypican-3 (GPC3)-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and a recombinant IL-7 drug for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
NIH Reference Number
Product Type
  • Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy, CAR, Tumor Specific Antigen, Liver, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, HCC, glypican-3, GPC-3, Interleukin-7, Recombinant IL-7, Ho
Collaboration Opportunity
This invention is available for licensing and co-development.
Description of Technology

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer. standard treatment for HCC is not suitable for a large proportion of liver cancer patients. As a result, alternative treatments are needed. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is a promising alternative approach selectively targets targeting tumors via tumor-specific antigens. However, to date, no effective CAR T cell therapy exists for HCC. 

Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a cell surface proteoglycan preferentially expressed in HCC. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researchers previously demonstrated that GPC3-targeting CAR T cell therapy was a promising therapeutic in preclinical animal models of HCC. Furthermore, it was reported that IL7 improved T cell or CAR T cell efficacy via enhancing CAR T cell persistence and survival. 

Researchers in the NCI’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) found that a single treatment of a recombinant IL-7 significantly improved the efficacy of GPC3-targeted CAR T cell therapy for over 4 weeks in mice bearing human HCC tumors. The superior efficacy indicated that combination of recombinant IL-7 treatments with GPC3-targeting CAR T cells may improve the efficacy of treating HCC in patients.

Potential Commercial Applications
  • Combination immunotherapy for HCC


Competitive Advantages

Combining recombinant IL-7 with the CAR T cell therapy improves efficacy to treat HCC



Mitchell Ho (NCI), Dan Li (NCI), Byung Ha Lee NeoImmune Tech, Inc, Sara Ferrando-Martinez (NeoImmune Tech Inc), Ahmad Abdulaziz (NeoImmune Tech Inc)

Development Stage
Patent Status
  • U.S. Provisional: U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number 63/196,556, Filed 03 Jun 2021
Therapeutic Area
Wednesday, February 23, 2022