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Targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 immunosuppressive axis: ​CAR-T strategies under investigation

PD-(L)1 axis inhibits CAR-T cell activation, proliferation, survival, and functionality. Thus, CAR-T mediated direct targeting of the PD-(L)1 immunosuppressive axis or modulation of the axis along with CAR-T therapy holds a huge promise to unleash the full potential of CAR-Ts.

Multiple strategies are under investigation to target PD-(L)1 immunosuppressive axis to increase CAR-T therapy efficacy. We have grouped the strategies under the following three broad categories,

  • Combining CAR-Ts with PD-(L)1 inhibitors to target PD-(L)1 molecules

  • Engineering T-cells in CAR-Ts with molecular mechanisms to block PD-(L)1 axis

  • Modifying CARs to target the PD-(L)1 axis

Currently, 205+ CAR-T programs are investigating such strategies in clinical and preclinical studies. Some of these studies have shown promising efficacy and considerable safety profiles, thus providing a strong impetus for further progress along this path.

In this slide deck, the Oncofocus’ Cell and Gene therapy team provided a top-level summary of all the different strategies/sub-strategies employed to target the PD-(L)1 axis with CAR-Ts or along with CAR-Ts. To get a detailed report along with the list of all the 205+ programs, active developers, current status, clinical outcomes, etc., please write to us at

Please write to us at – 

  • To get a comprehensive analysis of each of these strategies and details of all the programs

  • To access clinical outcomes of all the programs evaluating these strategies

  • To understand other research strategies under investigation to improve the efficacy of CAR-Ts

  • To get complete access to the landscape of 3,000+ CAR-Ts and other cell and gene therapies


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