ACGT – Edward Netter Memorial Investigator Award in Cell and Gene Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer Research (2024)

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy
LOI Due Date
Application Due Date
Brief Description


Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Inc. (ACGT) funds research aimed at furthering the development of cell and gene therapy approaches for the treatment of patients with cancer.

Research Objectives

Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease that is predicted to become the second leading cause of cancer related death worldwide by 2030. The overall 5-year survival rate is approximately 10%. Pancreatic cancer typically presents late with locally advanced or metastatic disease, and there are limited effective treatments available.

This award is for those conducting cell and gene therapy research specifically in pancreatic cancer including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Reversing the immunosuppressive microenvironment characteristic of pancreatic cancer to achieve a robust immune response utilizing cell or gene therapies targeting neuronal populations, myeloid cells, or immunosuppressive lymphoid cells.
  • Resolving key challenges limiting cell trafficking and infiltration including antigen presentation defects, tumor heterogeneity and genomic instability, and tumor micro-environment factors.
  • Approaches that focus on myeloid cells, cancer-associated fibroblast populations, regulatory T-cells, or relevant immune effectors.
  • Synthetic engineering approaches enabling delivery of T cells into immune-excluded pancreatic tumors to enhance T-cell therapies.
  • Advancements in CAR or CAR T design including armored CARs, inclusion of chemokine and cytokines, costimulatory domains, multi-antigen targeting, etc.
  • Novel approaches using less commonly tested immune cell types including transfection with tumorspecific T-Cell Receptors, Gamma-Delta T cells, Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes, Natural Killer cells, iPSC-derived cells, as autologous or allogeneic cells.
  • Combination approaches that leverage cell and gene therapy alongside other immunotherapy approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors, systemic cytokines, or bispecific antibodies.