Cellerant Pipeline
What Are Stem Cells?
CLT-008 Universal Cell-Based Drug
For Neutropenia
For Acute Radiation Syndrome
Cancer Stem Cell Antibodies
 
CLT-008: Fighting Acute Radiation Syndrome

In the event of a nuclear detonation or nuclear power plant explosion, thousands of people may die from radiation exposure. In a large population center, the predicted number of casualties ranges between 10,000 and 190,000 people. Some of these injuries are caused by the blast and heat, others from crushing injuries. But the great number of casualties is caused by the effects of radiation. The human hematopoietic (blood-forming) system is especially susceptible to radiation injury. As a result of radiation injury to the blood forming system, victims suffer from a lack of the cells that deliver oxygen (red blood cells), cells that detect and eliminate infectious agents (white blood cells), and cell components that promote blood clot formation (platelets). This set of symptoms is generally referred to as Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS).

While some victims of moderate to high levels of radiation are beyond saving, most victims will have received enough radiation to injure but not kill their bone marrow. They will recover from their injuries, but face a 30–60 day period during which they cannot fight infections and are prone to uncontrolled bleeding and anemia. In order to remain alive until their hematopoietic system recovers, they must receive supportive care. However, the very nature of a disaster such as this will greatly decrease the availability and access to high level supportive care. Many of the victims of the Chernobyl disaster, for example, would have survived with the appropriate supportive care, but such care was not possible in the field.

Two major advantages make CLT-008 ideal for the treatment of a large number of ARS victims: treatment can be delayed until disaster response teams are in place and victims appropriately triaged, and CLT-008 can be administered in the field and used even when there is little available infrastructure to provide standard supportive care and hospitalization.

CLT-008 Will Keep People Alive After a Nuclear Attack

Cellerant Therapeutics’ CLT-008 (myeloid progenitor cells for infusion) has the potential to rescue a substantial number of ARS victims. Derived from adult blood-forming stem cells, CLT-008 has been shown in animal models to be effective in preventing lethal bacterial and fungal infections after radiation exposure. CLT-008 is an off-the-shelf frozen product which can be shipped to the disaster site, thawed, and infused into patients through a standard IV line. Once infused, CLT-008 rapidly proliferates into infection-fighting neutrophils and platelets necessary for blood clotting.

CLT-008 is designed for use even if administered several days after exposure. It can be stockpiled in a secure location, ready for rapid delivery to the site of an attack. CLT-008 acts as a temporary therapy until the individual’s own blood-forming system recovers and begins to generate its own infection-fighting and clotting cells. And it works synergistically with growth factors like G-CSF to provide protection quickly.

CLT-008 Offers Several Unique Characteristics

Once approved for use, CLT-008 should provide life-saving therapy following exposure to radiation. As an off-the-shelf cell-based medicine, it offers several advantages over traditional cell transplants and non-cellular approaches to radiation exposure:

  • CLT-008 is designed to be an off-the-shelf cell-based medicine. CLT-008 should not require tissue matching, in contrast to stem cell transplants, which require a matched donor.
  • CLT-008 is being optimized for administration in mass casualty situations. Because damage to the hematopoietic (blood-forming) system typically does not appear until after 3–7 days of exposure, there will be time to triage and identify those in need of CLT-008 therapy. The practical utility of most small molecule therapies is limited, as they must be administered either before exposure or within hours after exposure.
  • CLT-008 can be stockpiled. Current cell therapies for neutropenia are not amenable to large-scale production or long-term storage. CLT-008, however, can be manufactured and stockpiled: hundreds of doses could be stored on nuclear-powered ships and submarines, and thousands of doses could be stored in regional stockpiles for national emergencies.
  • A single infusion of CLT-008 should provide extended protection. A single infusion of CLT 008 is designed to yield an extended period of therapeutic coverage, in contrast to the multiple doses required with other treatments.

The Benefits of 50 Years of Research

CLT-008 is the result of nearly 50 years of research into the adult blood forming system. This research began with the first bone marrow transplants, and culminated in the characterization and isolation of the human blood forming stem cell and its downstream progeny. CLT-008 will be the first adult-stem cell derived product with the potential to become a universal therapy with widespread application. Cellerant intends to develop the drug for the treatment of severely ill patients, as well as a countermeasure to nuclear terror.

 

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