Our Story

Our Groundbreaking Approach to Developing Cancer Therapies

Groundbreaking ApproachTraditionally, academic researchers make discoveries, then leave it to the private sector to turn them into real-world therapies. This doesn't work for childhood cancer. There aren't enough kids with cancer for a company to spend millions of dollars completing this process - the market is just too small. That's why our team is taking matters into its own hands by bringing the entire treatment-development process in house.

Merging Academic Research with Biotech Urgency

Our innovative approach merges the scientific rigor of academic research with the urgency of a biotech company that needs to get its product to market. We use an iterative, step-by-step process to carry immunotherapies from the laboratory to the bedside, improving them along the way. This process includes:

Genetic engineering

Engineering a patient's own infection-fighting cells, called T cells, to find and destroy cancer cells. Our scientists are at the forefront of a new type of immunotherapy that uses engineered chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to tell T cells to recognize specific molecular markers on tumor cells. This therapeutic approach, called adoptive CAR T cell immunotherapy, has been effective at attacking several types of cancer in human clinical trials.

Preclinical testing

Rigorously testing potential therapies to make sure they are safe and effective before being tested in children.

Cutting-edge manufacturing

Manufacturing genetically engineered T cells for clinical trials. Our expert team creates manufacturing processes that let us scale up production of new T-cell therapies while ensuring safety and quality. The therapies are grown in our special, FDA-approved clean room facility, the Therapeutic Cell Production Core, before being used in patients.

Clinical testing

Guiding new therapies through each step in the clinical trials process.

Constant improvement

Using the lessons from clinical trials to improve our genetic engineering by rewriting the genetic "code" to make therapies safer and/or more effective. This process is a continuous loop. By going around it over and over again, faster and faster each time, we will perfect immunotherapies and create a future where treating cancer will seem no different than treating an everyday virus.

If you are interested in supporting the advancement of immunotherapy and cancer research at Seattle Children’s, please visit our donation page.