Increasing the cytotoxic activity of CD8 cells for cancer immunotherapy


Published: 11Oct2019

Invention 2019-079 and 16124

Increasing the cytotoxic activity of CD8 cells for cancer immunotherapy


Small molecules that promote CD8 T cells and cytokine receptor signaling in cancer treatments have been developed at McGill University.


Market Need

Since dendritic cells are the most potent antigen-presenting cells, they are essential for the development of effective immunotherapies towards infectious diseases and cancers. Unfortunately, cancer patients often have immature DCs or immature myeloid cells due to the inhibition of cytokine-activated pathways which regulate DC differentiation and maturation. One of those inhibitors is T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP), which negatively regulates chemokine and cytokine signaling by blocking an important immune activation pathway: the JAK-STAT pathway. Tyrosine phosphatases in T-cells are therefore a critical negative regulator of DC activation and suppress immune cell maturation.


Technology Summary

This invention is multiple novel small molecules that specifically target two tyrosine phosphatase proteins that play key roles in T-cell activation. Modulation of TC-PTP expression represents an exciting new method to promote the expansion and survival of CD8 memory T cells by enhancing cytokine receptor signaling. Improving CD8 T cell fitness eliminates the need for administration of systemic cytokines and their highly toxic side effects.



  • Lower levels of cytokines required compared to standard treatments
  • Small molecules can be washed off cells, allowing activated DC cells to be re-transferred to the patient without any extra compounds


Patent Status

Filed PCT

Contact Information

Sylvie Toulmond
Innovation and Partnerships
sylvie.toulmond [at]
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