Bicistronic Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Constructs Targeting CD19 and CD20

CD19 and CD20 are promising targets for the treatment of B-Cell malignancies.  Unfortunately, some clinical studies have shown that there is a loss of CD19 or CD20 expression in various cases of lymphomas and leukemias, particularly after treatment with an agent that targets CD19 (e.g., anti-CD19 CAR-T). However, studies have shown that expression of one protein is retained when the other is lost. This suggests that a therapeutic with the ability to simultaneously target both CD19 and CD20 could represent a solution to the drawbacks of current therapies. 

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed the current invention which is an expression construct for a CAR that targets both CD19 and CD20. Specifically, a bicistronic construct has been created for expressing the two CARs from a single vector, thereby allowing for a more efficient transfection of T cells. The result is a more efficient and simultaneous targeting of both CD19 and CD20 by the same T cell.  

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Treatment of cancers and B cell malignancies expressing CD19, CD20, or both
  • First in class CAR treatment targeting both CD19 and CD20 simultaneously
  • Simultaneous targeting of two antigens decreases the chance that a patient will acquire a non-responsive disease condition 
  • A single, bicistronic expression vector (rather than two separate vectors) allows for more efficient transfection of cells that can target two antigens

Development Stage:
Discovery (Lead Identification)

Related Invention(s):


Jim Kochenderfer (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Shicheng Yang (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Application No. 62/732,263

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-205-2018
Updated: Nov 8, 2018