Overexpression of Phf19 on T Cells Enhances Therapeutic Effects of T Cell-Based Therapies (such as Chimeric Antigen Receptor [CAR] Therapies)

T cell-based immunotherapy (such as CAR therapies) is a promising approach for the treatment of several cancers. However, T cells currently employed for various T cell-based immunotherapies are usually senescent and terminally differentiated leading to poor proliferative and survival capacity, limiting their therapeutic effectiveness once transferred into a patient’s blood. 

Researchers in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch (ETIB) have epigenetically reprogrammed CD8+ T cell fate by overexpressing Phf19. The inventors found that overexpression of Phf19 in tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells limits T cell terminal differentiation and exhaustion. In addition, it was found that Phf19 overexpressing T cells exhibit enhanced proliferation and cytokine production, resulting in augmented anti-tumor activity in vivo. This technology is available for licensing and/or co-development.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Treating cancer patients receiving T cell-based immunotherapy 
  • T cells overexpressing Phf19 can increase therapeutic effectiveness of adoptive immunotherapy because it improves T cell proliferation increasing the number of T cells that can be used for T cell-based immunotherapies
  • T cells, overexpressing Phf19 used for immunotherapy in preclinical in vivo studies, are already known to induce a greater decrease in tumor size compared to mice treated with T cell-based immunotherapies using unmodified T cells

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)


Yun Ji (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Luca Gattinoni (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Application No. 62/515,105

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-107-2017
Updated: Jul 13, 2018