| News

Basel researchers developing universal cancer therapy

26.01.2021

Researchers from Basel are working on the development of a therapy in which pre-prepared immune cells can be used to treat any form of cancer immediately after diagnosis. A startup now intends to use 30 million US dollars in seed funding to finance the transition towards clinical development.

Researcher and entrepreneur Lucia Mori (img: University of Basel, Oliver Hochstrasser)

Dr. Lucia Mori from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel is working on the development of a revolutionary cancer therapy. According to a press release issued by the university, this would represent substantial progress even in comparison with personalized immune therapies. While these facilitate high-precision treatment, they also take time. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could just reach into the freezer following a cancer diagnosis, and have a ready-made pack of immune cells ready to go? Regardless of the type of cancer?”, Mori states, highlighting the key advantage of her solution.

Together with her colleagues, Mori, who was born in Italy, identified cells in the human immune system that would be able to attack various types of cancer cells as part of her research in Basel – “the best place in the world for immunological research”, she claims. These MR1T cells are able to detect tumors and attack MR1, which is a protein carried by nearly all cancer cells. In the lab, MR1T cells can be customized so that that they can be used to combat a whole host of cancer indications.

“Our aim is to manipulate T cells from healthy donors in such a way that they can target the combinations of MR1 and other characteristic molecules on the surface of cancer cells”, Mori explains in the press release. As these characteristics are often shared by the same cancer types, the relevant therapies could be prepared in advance. For example, this kind of treatment could be used to fight breast, bowel and lung cancers.

The focus is now on transitioning to clinical development. For this, Mori co-founded the startup Matterhorn Biosciences, which has already raised 30 million US Dollars in seed financing from Versant Ventures.

Share this article

Sign up to receive our newsletter in your inbox.

You may also be interested in

Botanikind settles in Basel
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest

Botanikind settles in Basel

The internationally active Swiss company Botanikind has settled in Basel and established Botanikind AG there. It provides natural ingredients for...

Read More
Kinarus secures capital commitment of 57 million Swiss francs
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest

Kinarus secures capital commitment of 57 million Swiss francs

The biopharmaceutical company Kinarus has signed a capital commitment of up to 57 million Swiss francs with the investment group...

Read More
Biotech startups from the Basel Area confirm leading position
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest, Switzerland Innovation Park

Biotech startups from the Basel Area confirm leading position

As part of the Top 100 Swiss Startup Awards 2021, the most promising startups in Switzerland are honored. These also...

Read More
T3 Pharma wins Swiss Economic Award
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest

T3 Pharma wins Swiss Economic Award

T3 Pharma has won the Swiss Economic Award 2021. Switzerland’s most prestigious young entrepreneur prize is awarded by the Swiss...

Read More
Worg selects Basel Area for European headquarters
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest, Switzerland Innovation Park

Worg selects Basel Area for European headquarters

Worg Pharmaceuticals has opted to establish its European headquarters at the site Allschwil of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area....

Read More
ten23 health settles in Basel
Basel Area Business & Innovation, Innovation, Invest

ten23 health settles in Basel

The life sciences cluster Rosental Mitte located in Basel is home to a new, globally active company called ten23 health....

Read More
1 2 3 48

Do you have a question? We'd like to hear from you.