Realist Pharma is an immunotherapy company focused on bringing to market conventional (off-the-shelf) small molecule vaccines against cancer, as well as a complementary cell therapy program.
Realist has discovered that gamma delta T cells (γδ T), a component of the immune system with unique properties, can be activated to target a series of well-known tumor markers (which are glycolipids and are called gangliosides) – which is a new discovery about how γδ T cells work. These gangliosides are highly upregulated in a wide variety of cancers. For example, one ganglioside called GD2, is expressed on 95% of neuroblastomas as well as >50% of melanomas, gliomas, SCLC, breast carcinomas, ovarian cancers and a host of other cancers. GD2 is generally not expressed at any appreciable levels on any normal cells except during embryogenesis. There are approximately 20 different gangliosides like GD2 which Realist's platform can target, each of which is completely conserved.
Realist has demonstrated high efficacy against both metastases and tumors in four aggressive tumor models (lung cancer, melanoma and two lymphomas) using two complementary technology platforms which expand target-specific γδ T cells: 1 - an in vivo small molecule therapeutic vaccine (REAL-2) and 2 - an ex vivo cell therapy (REAL-1). In both approaches, no safety or toxicity issues have been encountered in animal models. Realist has now started human studies with its ex vivo technology, and have confirmed that the human γδ T cells behave like the mouse cells in vitro with the first cancer patients they have recruited. The Company has broad patent protection, including both compositions of matter and methods of treatment.
In summary, Realist has a technology platform which is readily manufactured at a low cost, and which is applicable to a large number of cancer patients, using a differentiated approach for which the Company has secured broad IP coverage.