Maksim Mamonkin, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology & Immunology and the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Mamonkin also is a scientific co-founder and the chief scientific officer of March Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotech company developing engineered T-cells for challenging indications.
He is a translational immunologist engineering cellular therapies for hematologic malignancies and alloimmunity. His group has developed fratricide-resistant CD5 CAR T-cells targeting T-cell lymphoma and leukemia. Further, they utilized genome editing tools and pharmacologic inhibitors to create CD7-edited and unedited CD7 CAR T-cells for the therapy of T-cell lymphoblastic malignancies and AML. They uncovered mechanisms by which tonic CAR signaling produces toxicity in T-cells and described solutions to minimize these unwanted effects in therapeutic T-cells. His team has translated these findings to the clinic and developed optimized cGMP manufacturing protocols for CAR-T cells in ongoing first-in-man phase I clinical trials in patients with T-cell malignancies and AML in this we coordinate GMP manufacturing, release, and correlative studies.
More recently, he extended his interest in targeting T-lineage antigens to develop engineered receptors that suppress T-cell-driven alloimmunity, including host rejection of allogeneic cell therapies and graft-versus-host disease. They utilized these tools to create non-alloreactive, off-the-shelf CAR T-cell therapies resistant to host immune rejection and effective against graft-versus-host disease, technologies that have been licensed to leading cell therapy companies.
The Science: The phase I study of CD5.CAR-T at Baylor’s Center for Cell and Gene Therapy has shown compelling signs of efficacy and safety.
Pipeline: March Biosciences is expanding into T-cell targeting for autoimmune diseases, a completely novel strategy to drive curative responses in these chronic conditions.
Funding: March Biosciences had $22.5 million in funding committed or actualized in 2023, including:
Series A: March Biosciences is syndicating a $20 million Series A round, with a potential lead identified.
Next Steps: March Biosciences will focus efforts on initiating the phase II trial.