Vycellix and Avectas Announce Collaboration to Advance Next-Generation Solutions for the Optimized Manufacture of Cell & Gene Therapies
TAMPA, FLORIDA & DUBLIN, IRELAND – March 25, 2020 – Vycellix™, Inc., an immuno-discovery cell & gene therapy company, and Avectas Limited, a cell engineering technology business, today jointly announced that the companies have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop proprietary approaches for cell-based immunotherapeutic products.
The companies will collaborate on the delivery of Vycellix’s novel RNA immunomodulator VY-M using Avectas’ cell engineering platform, Solupore®. The collaboration will address current limitations for cell-based therapies, in particular with respect to the need to accelerate the manufacturing process, reduce the cost of manufacture, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
“We are delighted to partner with Vycellix and join forces in the development of novel cell-based products,” stated Michael Maguire, Ph.D., CEO of Avectas. “We believe Solupore® will play a critical role in the manufacture of cell-based therapies and will support a path towards effective patient outcomes.”
According to Vycellix’s President, Douglas Calder, “Solupore® represents a new paradigm for delivery of transgenes, and our initial studies will evaluate Solupore® to deliver our product candidate, VY-M, to T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. We expect to accelerate the expansion-time of T cells and NK cells by decreasing the non-dividing lag time, resulting in much shorter ‘vein-to-vein’ delivery-time to patients.” The studies will be conducted at Avectas’ Dublin-based facility and at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Both Vycellix and Avectas are collaborative partners within NextGenNK, a newly established competence center for development of next-generation NK cell-based cancer immunotherapies based at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. It is envisioned that Vycellix and Avectas will further expand their collaboration within the NextGenNK constellation.
“We are excited to see the NextGenNK Competence Center catalyzing interactions among its industrial partners to advance NK cell-based immunotherapies,” said Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the NextGenNK Competence Center. “The present collaboration may pave the way for similar collaborations among NextGenNK partners.”
About Vycellix™, Inc.:
Vycellix is a private, immuno-discovery, life science company at the forefront of innovation in the development of cell & gene-based therapies targeting indications in, but not limited to, hematology/oncology, autoimmunity/chronic inflammatory diseases, and organ/tissue transplantation.
The Company’s portfolio of transformational platform technologies encompass novel tools urgently sought after to enable broad global adoption of advanced therapies including: 1) the ability to generate Universal Cells (VY-UC), without the need to alter expression of any of the cellular components that control self-recognition (HLA Class I or II), obviating the need for immune-suppressive drugs and redefining the path towards “off-the-shelf” therapies; 2) the ability to amplify cell-potency through the upregulation of internal cytotoxic mechanisms (VY-X); 3) the ability to accelerate the expansion of cells for immunotherapy by near-elimination of non-dividing lag time to leap forward to shorter “vein-to-vein” time with expanded cells (VY-M); and, 4) the ability to markedly enhance gene transduction levels using viral vectors with implications for autologous and allogeneic CAR-T and CAR-NK cell development (VY-OZ).
The Company’s platforms were all discovered by scientists at the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden. KI is globally recognized for its Nobel Assembly, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at: www.Vycellix.com and follow its Twitter feed at: @Vycellix.
About Avectas Limited:
Avectas is a cell engineering technology business developing a unique delivery platform to enable the ex-vivo manufacture of our partners’ gene-modified cell therapy products, which will retain high in-vivo functionality. Our vision is to be a leading non-viral cell engineering technology provider, integrated into manufacturing processes for multiple autologous and allogeneic therapies, commercialized through development and license agreements. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.avectas.com
Forward Looking Statements:
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts are “forward-looking statements,” including those relating to future events. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “project,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “intend,” or “continue” and other words or terms of similar meaning. These statements include, without limitation, statements related to the pre-clinical, regulatory, clinical and/or commercial development and all anticipated uses of VY-OZ, VY-X, VY-M and VY-UC, and the Company’s plans for seeking out-licensing opportunities for these assets. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans, objectives, estimates, expectations and intentions, and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with immuno-discovery product development, including risks associated with advancing products to human clinical trials and/or ultimately regulatory and commercial success which is subject to the uncertainty of regulatory approval, market adoption and other risks and uncertainties affecting Vycellix and its development programs. Other risks and uncertainties of which Vycellix is not currently aware may also affect Vycellix’s forward-looking statements and may cause actual results and the timing of events to differ materially from those anticipated. The forward-looking statements herein are made only as of the date hereof. Vycellix undertakes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, new information, future events, changes in its expectations or other circumstances that exist after the date as of which the forward-looking statements were made
Vycellix Corporate Contact:
Douglas W. Calder, President