R&D and innovation programs

A technological breakthrough for the next generation of antitumor therapies is to develop a new generation of genetically modified drug cells (CAR-NK) from pluripotent stem cells. This approach is very exciting, due to the differentiation for the potential of the source cells but also for the control of the expression of the drug gene. The goal is to exploit the differentiation capacity of pluripotent stem cells in order to generate new sources of biomedicines and ultimately obtain allogenic immune cells custom-expressing key drug genes.

Therapeutics dyptique

ETINCELL project: iPS derived NK-CAR cells

The ambition of the ETINCELL project, led by Flash Therapeutics, is to develop a new generation of genetically modified allogeneic drug cells (CAR-NK) derived from pluripotent stem cells. This project is carried out thanks to the combination of disruptive technologies based on the expertise of its academic and biotech partners on engineering and cell reprogramming, differentiation, regulation of gene expression and gene transfer. Flash Therapeutics (project leader), specializing in the field of gene therapy, will support the design, development and production of gene transfer technologies based on DNA and RNA transfer. 

Objectives & Technical challenges

The deliverable is a new-generation of more reliable cell therapies, obtained thanks to the improvement of the supply of cellular raw materials (optimization of the source and quality of pluripotent stem cells) and the functionality of the CAR-NK cells generated (regulation of the expression of therapeutic inserted genes) for anti-tumor cell therapy.

ETINCELL project

The main deliverable is to create a prototype of a CAR-NK drug cell, genetically modified and whose activity will be tunable. The generated CAR-NK cell will be able of eradicating tumor cells while appropriately addressing the pitfalls of contemporary treatments used in both liquid and solid cancers. 

Timeline & Funding:

The ETINCELL project was launched in May 2021 for the duration of 2 years and has received funding from BPI France and Occitanie Region.

ETINCELL partners

Consortium Members

University of Montpellier: IRMB

Two academic laboratories from the University of Montpellier participate: The Institute for Regenerative Medecine and Biotherapy (IRMB) and the Institute of Research in Infectiology of Montpellier (IRIM) which are specialized in the development of cellular reprogramming strategies to generate iPSC and the lentiviral particles maturation and assembly, respectively.



The Institute of Cellular Integrative Biology (I2BC) is an academic laboratory specialized in the study and the modulation of the mechanism of virus entry.



INSERM UMRS/UA09 is bound to UMS CiTHERA (Evry), certified Integrator pre-industrial of the Bioproduction Grand Challenge in July 2020, which will produce iPS cells in clinical grade (GMP grade) and differentiate them into NK cells.

The unity U935/UA09 is specialized in cellular reprogramming, cell engineering & genomic of iPS cells and in differentiation processes in hematopoietic cells for allografting applications and immunotherapies.


Honing Biosciences

Honing Biosciences, French SME specialized in the development of approaches based on the control of intracellular trafficking allowing the modulation of drug cell activity.