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Selective "Off-Switch" Control of Chimeric Agonist Receptors (CARs) Activity for Safer Cell-based Immunotherapies


Project TitleSelective "Off-Switch" Control of Chimeric Agonist Receptors (CARs) Activity for Safer Cell-based Immunotherapies
Track Code27155
Short Description

Our technology seamlessly creates a split Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) including an extracellular antigen recognition, a transmembrane, and an intracellular signaling domain for a pharmacologically conditional “off-switch” via a small-molecule drug. The addition of this receptor allows for modulation of T cell activity in the body. Upon introduction, the small-molecule compound would bind and activate the negative regulatory domain on the CAR-T or TCR, resulting in inhibition of T-cell activation. This “off-switch” domain allows for addition of an unprecedented safety switch that can be immediately activated upon the first signs of unwanted side-effects. This is different from the “on-switch”, which had been previously developed by the Wendell Group, in that this technology represses T-cell activity upon activation, rather than activating.


An “off-switch” for CAR-Ts and TCRs that allows for better in vivo activity modulation, for rapidly turning off t-cell activity resulting in increased safety

TagsCAR-T, TCR, Cancer, cell therapy, immunotherapy, oncology, Disease: Cancer, Therapeutics
Posted DateSep 7, 2017 12:00 PM


It is well established that the potentials of CAR-Ts and TCRs to cure cancer are unprecedented, however there is still great concern in the field for such side effects as cytokine release syndrome and destruction of healthy tissue. Our invention proposes to add an “off-switch” to both types of immunotherapies, CAR-Ts and TCRs, that allows for efficient and effective modulation of T-cell activity once introduced in to the patient.

The advantages of this technology includes:

  • Addition of an “off-switch” to modulate in vivo activity, thus creating a safety switch in case of unwanted side effects
  • Activation of the “off-switch” does not result in destruction of the T-cell, but instead tunes its activity
  • Ability to readily add this technology to existing CAR-T and TCR platforms
  • Use of a small molecule allows for inactivation of TCRs that can recognize MHC-associated intracellular antigens

Potential Applications

Additional Information

Stage of Development


Looking for Partners

To develop this “off-switch”, or “safety switch”, technology alongside their current CAR-T and TCR platforms to increase safety and reduce adverse side effects

Data Availability

Under CDA / NDA

Related Materials

Additional Technologies by these Inventors

Tech ID/UC Case


Related Cases


Contact Information

Name : Todd Pazdera

Title :

Department :

Email :

Phone : 415-502-1636

Address :

Principal Investigator

Name : Wendell Lim

Department :

Name : Kole Roybal

Department :

Name : Jasper Williams

Department :

Name : Chia Yung Wu

Department :

Intellectual Property

Patent Number : WO2017087723

Patent Title :

Patent Application Date :

Patent Publication Date :

Patent Issue Date : May 26, 2017

Patent Link :