Purchase this database of 10+ companies developing macrophage cell therapies
Macrophages are a type of innate white blood cells. Their involvement in the the immune system is well known, and they have proven to be extremely versatile, heterogenous cells, able to adapt their function in relation to signals from the microenvironment. The most common functions of macrophages is ingestion and killing of pathogens in the host body, as well as the removal of dead cells and debris in tissues through phagocytosis.
Macrophages are commonly separated into two major classes: M1 and M2. M1 macrophages or classically activated macrophages mediate defence from microorganisms and mediating antitumor responses. M2 macrophages or alternatively activated macrophages are regulate wound healing through regulation of inflammatory response. As such, both these macrophage classes are crucial for the activation and disabling of of immune response (Murray et al).
It is clear to see why macrophage companies focused on the development of cell therapies are being founded.
The innate immune capabilities of these cells are being utilized in revolutionary ways by macrophage therapy companies. T-cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have shown great promise in hematological cancers, with multiple therapies having received regulatory approval by the FDA. However, solid tumors remain a great challenge for adoptive cell therapies, as toxicity remains excessive and efficacy is lacking due to the high complexity of the tumor microenvironment. Genetically engineered macrophages may turn out to be part of the solution. Macrophages are able to infiltrate the tumor microenvironment, that otherwise usually inactivates cytotoxic T cells, and interact with the cellular components of this tissue.
CAR-Macrophages (CAR-M) opens up for new possibilities to treat solid tumors, with improved phagocytic activity and antigen presentation of macrophages against tumors.
Figure 1: Illustration of the CAR-macrophage and the interaction with T-cells and tumor cells. Figure taken from Chen et al.
The promising outlook of this technology has led multiple macrophage therapy companies to emerge. As described above, macrophage cell technologies are being utilized in different ways, whether it be engineered macrophage companies, CAR-macrophage companies, stem cell derived macrophage companies or even conventional macrophage companies.
This database contains more than 10 macrophage companies with confirmed adoptive assets under development, this being preclinical or clinical development.