Joint Comments Regarding NIH Exclusive License to Ziopharm Oncology for Cell Therapy

On July 6, 2020, Knowledge Ecology International and the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment submitted joint comments regarding the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) proposed exclusive license for the development and commercialization of cell therapies for cancer (85 FR 36872). The license is to be a worldwide, exclusive license to Ziopharm Oncology, Inc.

The license would grant Ziopharm exclusive, worldwide rights to three types of T Cell Receptors (TCRs) targeting mutated Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) antigen, which is expressed on several epithelial cancers, including pancreatic, colorectal, ovarian, lung, and prostate cancer.

The inventions are part of a collection of “T Cell Receptors Targeting KRAS Mutants for Cancer Immunotherapy/Adoptive Cell Therapy” at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website. All inventions in the collection have been licensed on an exclusive basis to Ziopharm. The instant license would thus add to Ziopharm’s collection of rights in NCI’s TCRs targeting the G12D or G12V variants of mutated KRAS.

The prospective license appears to be a second amendment to a license to Ziopharm first executed on May 28, 2019. KEI and UACT commented on the May 2019 license as well as on another TCR-related license to Ziopharm noticed in October 2019.

KEI and UACT’s full comments are available here: KEI_UACT_Comments_NIH_License_Ziopharm_6July2020