Next Gen CART MAD is composed of groups from diverse disciplines within biomedicine and brings a set of complementary technologies, knowledge in immune and tumour cells, cell engineering strategies for the redirection of T and NK lymphocytes and for the inactivation of inhibitors of the tumour microenvironment, experience in the development of academic clinical trials and in the creation of technology-based companies. The multidisciplinary composition of the consortium, with experts in Immunology, Advanced Therapies, Cell Engineering and Paediatric Oncology, covers all stages of the Translational Research process, brings great added value to the mere sum of each member, and represents a unique opportunity to lead the field of cellular immunotherapies, especially for childhood cancer, in Madrid and in Europe. The project contemplates conservative approaches in the case of already validated targets (CD19 for example), with others that provide a high degree of novelty (CAR antiNKG2D, TRUCK, STAb, IL-armed), which suggests that the project activity will generate intellectual property that will be protected in the most appropriate way. This will enable the relationship with biotechnology/biomedicine companies interested in the next phases of the development of new Advanced Therapy drugs. As part of this future process, the presence of clinical groups will ensure the continuity of the project once the mandatory clinical trials are initiated to bring the therapeutic novelties into clinical practice. As indicated throughout the objectives presented, the different groups in the consortium will have access to all the tools developed by each group in order to pre-clinically test the best therapeutic combinations and to maximise the capabilities and competencies of each group.

As a key aspect, the Consortium is born with a vocation for continuity. The field of cell engineering applied to cancer immunotherapy is in its infancy and has a long way to go, with the approval of the first drug of these characteristics just 5 years ago. In the short and medium term we will witness the development of new designs in chimeric receptors, expansion of immune subpopulations suitable for each type of therapy, use of cells other than T lymphocytes, oncolytic viruses that produce immune mediators, combinations of therapy and dual CAR-T that will increase effectiveness and persistence, and other developments that have not yet been reported. This consortium is in a position to actively participate at the forefront by contributing its results and applying its inventions to patients whose problems are not solved by current therapies. Given the complexity of the problem of resistant tumours, and especially paediatric tumours, and the possibilities offered by immunotherapy, it is easy to understand that the work of this consortium is not exhausted in the 4 years covered by this call.