Yevgeny Brudno, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Chemistry of Life Program and Functional Tissue Engineering Group within the Comparative Medicine Institute has received a 7-year, $2.8 million R37 grant from NCI entitled “Biomaterial Scaffolds for Ex-Vivo and In-Situ CAR-T Cell Production”.
CAR-T cell therapy drafts a patient’s own cells to target and kill tumors. This therapy combines pin-point specificity and broad efficacy, leading to transformative clinical effects in some cancers. The major obstacle to widespread use of CAR-T therapy remains its cost (as much as $500,000) and a slow manufacturing process (2-4 weeks). This proposal develops biomaterial scaffolds that reduce CAR-T cell production from 2-4 weeks to a single day, improves CAR-T cell function, and could lead to widespread access to this revolutionary new therapy.
Brudno is the PI of the grant, with CMI executive committee member Frances Ligler as Co-I along with UNC Chapel Hill colleagues Gianpietro Dotti and Natalie Grover.