Carina Biotech is very pleased to announce that we have submitted a pre-IND (Investigational New Drug) application to the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) for our CAR-T therapy that targets a cancer stem cell antigen known as LGR5.

This represents a major step towards taking our CAR-T cell (CNA3103) into a Phase I/IIa clinical trial in patients with advanced colorectal (bowel) cancer later this year.


  • A pre-IND package submission comes before a pre-IND meeting with the FDA, which will occur on 26 April
  • The next step will be the full IND application anticipated at the end of September 2022
  • Carina’s LGR5 CAR-T cells are targeted at LGR5, a cancer stem cell marker that is highly expressed on colorectal cancer (and other cancers)
  • Colorectal cancer is the deadliest cancer for Australians aged 25-34 and Australia’s second deadliest cancer overall
  • More than $US1 billion was earned by CAR-T therapy products in 2020*; and revenue of $US20.3 billion is forecast for 2028**

Carina Biotech CEO, Dr Deborah Rathjen said:

“Submitting our pre-IND package to the FDA is a milestone achievement for Carina as we transition from a discovery-stage pre-clinical company to a clinical-stage company, addressing unmet clinical needs in the treatment of solid cancers using our proprietary CAR-T technology to generate effective therapies that harness the power of the immune system.”

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia.

Metastatic colorectal cancer represents a significant unmet clinical need and has a large market potential. The therapeutics market is estimated at US$10.4 billion pa, growing at 4.6% pa.***

New CAR-T product approvals are anticipated to expand to an addressable patient population of 2 million within the next 10 years****, with solid tumours anticipated to account for more than 50% of CAR-T revenues by 2030*****.


About Carina’s LGR5 CAR-T cell
LGR5 is a cancer stem cell marker that is highly expressed on advanced colorectal cancer and some other cancers. In colorectal cancer patients, LGR5+ expression has been correlated with a particularly poor prognosis.

Cancer stem cells are a small sub-population of cells within a tumour with the ability to self-renew, differentiate into the many cell types of a tumour, initiate new tumours, and resist chemotherapy and radiotherapy (leading to relapses).

By targeting cancer stem cells, it is hoped that this therapy will reduce the tumour’s ability to generate new cancer cells, resulting in durable tumour suppression and preventing the relapses that are very common in patients with colorectal cancer.

Carina’s pre-clinical studies of the LGR5-targeted CAR-T cell have shown highly promising results with complete tumour regression and no tumour recurrence. They have also demonstrated impressive tumour access and prolonged CAR-T cell survival.


*Yescarta and Kymriah market size estimates calculated from various publicly available sources. Estimates vary and different analyses may give different results. Estimated cost of goods US$58,200 (range $40,000-$106,000, 2018) with pricing outcomes/value based.
** Grandview Research, ‘T-cell therapy market size, share and trends analysis’, Feb 2021.
*** Calculated as the average of estimates published by Reportlinker, BCC Research and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. Estimates vary and other analyses may give different results. Prevalence data is for US cases only.
**** Grandview Research, ‘T-cell therapy market size, share and trends analysis’, Feb 2021.
***** Polaris Market Research, ‘CAR-T cell therapy market share, size trends, industry analysis report’, June 2021.