Category: cell therapy

  • BMS cuts $3.15bn deal with Century for cancer cell therapies

    Bristol-Myers Squibb chief executive Giovanni Caforio has promised to invest in the company’s pipeline at the virtual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, and demonstrated that commitment by licensing up to four cancer cell therapy candidates from Century Therapeutics. BMS is paying $150 million upfront in cash and equity to kick off the alliance with another $3 […]

  • BMS puts $150M on the table in off-the-shelf cell therapy alliance with Century

    Bristol Myers Squibb is partnering with Century Therapeutics, placing a $150 million bet that the biotech’s technology for engineering stem cells can produce new off-the-shelf cell therapies for cancer. If the four potential programs covered under the pact reach the market, milestone payments could bring Century more than $3 billion.

  • Milestone as EMA starts review of Atara’s ‘off-the-shelf’ cell therapy

    Atara Biotherapeutics’ tabelecleucel (tab-cel) has become the first ‘allogeneic’ cell therapy – in other words one which doesn’t involve harvesting cells from patients – to be evaluated by a regulatory agency anywhere in the world. The EMA has started a review of the off-the-shelf therapy as a treatment for patients with a rare form of […]

  • Cell therapy biotech Quell adds $156M for alternative to organ transplant meds

    Quell Therapeutics’ $156 million Series B round comes as it prepares to advance to a clinical trial testing its lead regulatory T cell therapy candidate as way to prevent organ rejection in liver transplant patients. The progress comes as the field of Treg cell therapy research becomes increasingly competitive.

  • Blackstone revs up Autolus’ CAR with $250m fuel injection

    Private equity firm Blackstone has agreed to provide up to $250 million in financing to UK biotech Autolus Therapeutics, to help it take acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) CAR-T therapy obe-cel through late-stage development. The deal includes a $100 million equity stake, $50 million in financing as soon as it closes, and another $100 million on […]

  • Talaris therapy ends need for immune drugs in transplant patients

    Two kidney transplant patients who received a stem cell therapy developed by Talaris Therapeutics were able to come off all immunosuppressant drugs within a year, without any evidence of graft rejection. The first findings from Talaris’ phase 3 trial of the cell therapy – called FCR001 – suggest it may be possible to eliminate the […]

  • Takeda buys GammaDelta to boost cancer cell therapy credentials

    Japanese drugmaker Takeda has said it will exercise its option to buy UK-based GammaDelta Therapeutics, a specialist in ‘off-the-shelf’ cell therapies for solid tumours and blood cancers. The two companies have been working together since 2017, with Takeda pledging $100 million to help GammaDelta advance its cell therapy platform as part of a “build-to-buy” arrangement. […]

  • Next Generation CAR-TCR Summit

    The cell therapy field is showing no signs of slowing down, with huge investment and excitement around next generation products and their clinical validation in solid tumour indications. Formerly CAR-TCR Europe, the new and improved Next Generation CAR-TCR Therapies Summit is now the only industry-dedicated forum focused on the 2.0, next generation innovations in cell therapies. This year, we’ll be specifically focusing […]

  • FDA halts Allogene CAR-T trial after safety scare

    A phase 1 trial of Allogene’s of-the-shelf CAR-T for lymphoma has been placed on hold by the FDA, after a “chromosomal abnormality” was seen in a patient receiving the cell therapy. Shares in the California biotech were hit hard after the news emerged, losing more than a third of their value as investors fretted that […]

  • Takeda bags Japanese approval for Crohn’s cell therapy Alofisel

    Takeda has chalked up another milestone for its Alofisel cell therapy for a complication of Crohn’s disease, becoming the first allogeneic stem cell therapy to be approved in Japan. Alofisel (darvadstrocel) has been cleared by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) for the treatment of complex perianal fistulas in patients with non-active or […]

  • Capricor preps phase 3 for Duchenne cell therapy as it seeks a partner

    Capricor Therapeutics’ bid to find a partner for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) cell therapy CAP-1002 could get a boost after final phase 2 data showed a strong effect on disease progression. Initial results from the 20-patient HOPE-2 trial reported last year showed signs of activity in older boys and young men with advanced DMD, […]

  • Roche dives further into cancer cell therapy with Adaptimmune deal

    Roche has largely been a spectator on the side lines as other drugmakers have embraced cell therapies for cancer, but it has made a big play now, pledging $150 million upfront to an alliance with Adaptimmune Therapeutics. The Swiss drugmaker is backloading the five-year deal with around $3 billion in milestones, as the two companies […]

  • Hybrigenics says it wants a merger with Bone Therapeutics

    French biopharma company Hybrigenics has made another bid to merge with Belgium’s Bone Therapeutics, a specialist in regenerative medicine that is still recovering from a setback in its lead development programme. Hybrigenics said in a press release today that it had started discussions with Bone Therapeutics, but the Belgian company was quick to come out […]

  • Startup Modulus embraces AI to design better NK cell therapies for cancer

    Modulus Therapeutics recently emerged from stealth with technology from various disciplines and seed funding that the startup is using to develop better cell therapies. Natural killer cells directed against breast cancer is Modulus’s initial focus, but the startup says its approach can apply to multiple types of immune cells and multiple types of cancer.

  • Kite takes the ‘Appian way’ to off-the-shelf cell therapies for cancer

    Gilead Sciences’ Kite Pharma has mapped out another route to the development of allogeneic or ‘off-the-shelf’ cell therapies for cancer, using technology developed by Appia Bio, a US startup focusing on haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The partnership will combine Kite’s experience in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies with Appia’s platform, which involves using HSCs to […]

  • NHS sets aside £340m for new Innovative Medicines Fund

    NHS England has matched its financial backing of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) with an equivalent pot of money for a new Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) that will provide early access to cutting-edge medicines like cell and gene therapies. It has proposed that the IMF will work in the same way as the CDF, funding […]

  • BioNTech grows in cell therapies, buying Kite’s TCR platform

    BioNTech has found a use for some of the windfall cash it has raked in from its COVID-19 vaccine, agreeing a deal to buy Kite Pharma’s entire neoantigen T cell receptor (TCR) platform for solid tumours, and an associated manufacturing plant. There’s no value attached to the deal – even though BioNTech is a publicly […]

  • Wugen unveils $172M to take natural killer cell therapies to solid tumors

    Wugen, a biotech developing “off-the-shelf” natural killer and CAR T cell therapies, has raised $172 million in Series B financing. The company’s lead program has already reached human testing and the new capital will be used to continue that research and advance other pipeline programs to the clinic.

  • Health Innovators – Jo Brewer, Adaptimmune

    In this episode of Health Innovators, pharmaphorum founder Paul Tunnah interviews Jo Brewer, senior vice president of allogeneic research at UK company Adaptimmune which is transforming cancer immunotherapy with affinity enhanced T-cell receptors. Adaptimmune’s SPEAR (Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor) T-cell platform enables the engineering of T-cells to target and destroy cancer across multiple solid tumors. […]

  • Gilead combs Shoreline for NK cell therapies in $2.3bn alliance

    Gilead Sciences’ cell therapy Kite Pharma has bulked up its position in natural killer (NK) cell therapies, pledging up to $2.3 billion for a partnership with Shoreline Bioscience focusing on off-the-shelf therapies for haematological cancers. The two companies will collaborate on the development of targeted NK cell and macrophage cells derived from induced pluripotent stem […]

  • Cell Line Development and Characterization: An Ocean of Opportunities for Service Providers

    The growing pipeline of monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, enzymes, biosimilars and other therapeutic proteins have created an ever- increasing demand for highly- productive and stable cell lines. Many of the recombinant biotherapeutic products, produced in cellular systems, have been translated into commercial successes; these include ALPROLIX®, ELOCTATE® and ELAPRASE®.  Given their impact on the overall quality […]

  • Bayer’s two-pronged cell/gene therapy assault on Parkinson’s enters clinic

    Bayer subsidiary BlueRock Therapeutics has dosed the first Parkinson’s disease patient in a phase 1 trial of its cell-based therapy DA01, which aims to replenish the neurons lost in people with the neurodegenerative disorder. At the same time, the German group’s Asklepios BioPharma (AskBio) unit has started recruiting patients for a phase 1b trial of […]

  • New Cell & Gene Therapy Collective seeks to boost UK adoption

    The UK has been a global leader in introducing cell and gene therapies that can potentially transform the lives of patients with debilitating diseases – but there are still many barriers to wider adoption. These challenges often arise because these therapies go through the same value assessment processes as less complex medicines, and the infrastructure […]

  • Tackling diabetes & ALS with cell therapy

    Israeli company Kadimastem is developing regenerative medicine therapies based on differentiated cells derived from human embryonic stem cells to treat diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and diabetes. Catherine Longworth spoke with Kadimastem’s head of diabetes research, Kfir Molakandov to find out more. In the 1990s, when the first transplant of islets took place, […]

  • Collaboration is key to advancing cell therapy research

    Dr. Anne Kerber, VP, Head of Clinical Development, Europe at Kite, a Gilead Company, explains how the company works with researchers and physicians across Europe to expand patient access to cell therapy. This thought leadership series has been paid and developed by Kite, a Gilead Company. Cell therapy is a treatment involving the genetic modification […]

  • Big data and cell therapy development: the pharmaphorum podcast

    In the latest episode of the podcast pharmaphorum’s website editor Catherine Longworth speaks with Dr Darrin Disley, who’s the CEO of Mogrify. The UK biotechnology company is aiming to transform the development of cell therapies using a systematic direct cell conversion & maintenance platform powered by big-data. Darrin discusses the story behind Mogrify’s technology and his […]

  • Cancer Research UK spinout Achilles raises $175.5m in IPO

    UK biotech Achilles Therapeutics has completed its initial public offering (IPO) in the US, raising $175.5 million that will be used to take its personalised T cell therapy for lung and skin cancers through proof-of-concept trials. The new funding will also be used to advance two more T cell programmes for head and neck and […]

  • 9th PREDiCT: Tumor Models Cell Therapy Summit

    With high stakes to satisfy unmet patient needs, cell therapy is a promising but challenging field of oncology. There is a crucial need to progress candidates from bench to bedside. With that in mind, I am delighted to share the official agenda and speaker faculty for the 9th PREDiCT: Tumor Models Cell Therapy Summit. Taking place as […]

  • FDA fast tracks type 1 diabetes cell therapy from Vertex

    Vertex Pharma has made its name with treatment for cystic fibrosis, but has big plans in cell and genetic therapies – and has just chalked up fast-track status from the FDA for a cell-based therapy for diabetes.  VX-880 (formerly known as STx-02) derives from Vertex’ near $1 billion acquisition of Semma in 2019, and has […]

  • Lymphoma Action – championing the patient voice in cell therapy

    Lymphoma Action is the only UK health charity dedicated to people affected by lymphoma. Chief Executive Ropinder Gill and Director of Operations and External Affairs Stephen Scowcroft believe it is essential to champion the patient voice in cell therapy. This thought leadership series has been paid for and developed with Kite, A Gilead Company. Lymphoma […]

  • Heat Bio’s shares ignite on Opdivo combination data in NSCLC

    The pairing of Heat Biologics’ lead drug HS-110 with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo has boosted survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), sending the biotech’s share price skywards.  Interim data from a phase 2 trial of Heat’s off-the-shelf cell therapy with Opdivo (nivolumab) showed that patients treated with the duo as […]

  • BMS finally gets FDA OK for liso-cel, sets $410k launch price

    Bristol-Myers Squibb finally has FDA approval for its CAR-T therapy liso-cel, which has been cleared by the US regulator as Breyanzi for certain forms of large B-cell lymphoma. The green light comes too late for holders of the contingent value right (CVR) BMS offered as a sweetener to its takeover of Celgene, which lapsed because […]

  • Cellino Closes $16M Seed Financing led by The Engine and Khosla Ventures to Automate and Scale Stem Cell Manufacture

    What You Should Know: – Cellino, a Cambridge, MA-based personalized regenerative medicine company developing an AI-guided laser editing platform for autologous cell-based therapies, today announced the closing of a $16M Seed financing round. The round was co-led by The Engine and Khosla Ventures, with participation from Humboldt Fund and 8VC. – The company’s platform solves a time-consuming, major bottleneck of […]

  • Gene editing: beyond the hype

    Genome editing is an exciting but still nascent field, and companies in the area face as many obstacles as they do opportunities. Sangamo CEO Sandy Macrae told us how his company is being cautious about the hype and finding ways to be financially viable in an emerging space. ‘Cutting edge’ is, for once, a truly […]

  • Oxford BioTherapeutics to research cell therapies for Gilead’s Kite

    Gilead Sciences’ Kite unit has teamed up with the UK’s Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) to develop a new clutch of cell therapy products for solid tumours and blood cancers. The partnership covers up to five oncology targets identified by OBT using its discovery platform, and the UK firm will try to develop antibodies against them. Kite […]

  • Why cell therapy manufacture is a team sport

    Louis van de Wiel, Vice President, Site Head EU Manufacturing, Kite, a Gilead Company, reveals the complexity that sits behind the process of individualised cell therapy – and why team culture makes it work This thought leadership series has been paid and developed by Kite, a Gilead Company. In 2018, we were preparing to build […]

  • Chasing BMS, J&J files BCMA CAR-T for multiple myeloma to FDA

    Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit has filed a rolling submission for its multiple myeloma CAR-T ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel) to the FDA, in hot pursuit of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s delayed rival therapy. Cilta-cel – which targets B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) – has been submitted as a treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma, an incurable form […]

  • Catamaran joins the CAR-NK fleet, raising $42m in first round

    Catamaran Bio has weighed anchor with a $42 million first-round financing that will be used to pull its off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies for cancer through early-stage development. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech is the latest player in the emerging field of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK cell therapies, which unlike the current generation of […]

  • Sanofi to acquire Kiadis and NK cell tech for $353 million

    Sanofi is to acquire Kiadis, a biotech specialising in therapies based around ‘off the shelf’ natural killer (NK) cells, for 308 million euros ($353 million). The French pharma is buying Kiadis for 5.45 euros per share in cash, an offer price representing a premium of 272% over the biotech’s closing price on Friday evening on […]

  • Bayer buys cell & gene therapy firm AskBio for $4 billion

    Bayer is making clear its ambitions in cell and gene therapy with a $4 billion acquisition of US biotech Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, also known as AskBio. AskBio’s portfolio includes pre-clinical and clinical stage candidates for the treatment of neuromuscular, central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Through the acquisition, Bayer will gain full rights to the […]

  • Patient-to-Patient Supply for Cell Immunotherapies Summit

    Achieving Standardization & Operational Excellence in Vein-to-Vein Supply As an increasing number of candidates enter the clinic and promise to be a mainstay in the future of cancer treatment, cell therapies pose unique supply chain challenges. From temperature and time sensitivity, to patient-facing delivery and chain of identity, these supply chain challenges must be overcome […]

  • 2nd Macrophage-directed Therapies Summit

    Harnessing the Potential of Macrophage Therapies Using Small Molecule, Antibody & Cell Therapy based Approaches for Oncology and Beyond The $4.9 billion acquisition of Forty Seven by Gilead is an example of the explosive excitement and investment into macrophage-directed therapies, utilizing CD47 checkpoint blockades, repolarization approaches and engineered macrophages, that we have witnessed in recent […]

  • Kiadis shares yo-yo on cell therapy trial for COVID-19

    Shares in Netherlands biotech Kiadis rose sharply on the news that it would start developing a natural killer (NK) cell therapy for COVID-19, but later lost most of the gains on what looks like profit-taking. Kiadis has joined forces with five Dutch biomedical groups on the R&D for its coronavirus candidate – called K-NK-ID101 – […]

  • Preparing for an influx of cell and gene therapy approvals

    Cell and gene therapies offer some of the most groundbreaking advancements in patient care the pharma industry has ever seen. However, to fully realise the potential of these innovative therapies, integration across the supply chain is critical – particularly with reimbursement and logistics. As of the end of 2019, there were 17 cell and gene […]

  • Cell Therapy: A Potential Treatment for COVID-19?

    With the success of first vaccine to reach phase I clinical trial and turning out to be safe, well-tolerated, and capable of generating an immune response against the virus in humans, a lot of hope has been created with this vaccine. However, the research is still ongoing to develop novel therapeutic treatments that could aid […]