Cell therapy weekly: Collaboration to investigate allogeneic, off-the-shelf cell therapy for COVID-19

Also this week: New collaboration announced to drive next-generation solution for manufacturing cell therapies and Allogene Therapeutics (CA, USA) will work with MaxCyte (MD, USA) to further develop their CAR-T therapy.

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Mar 26, 2020
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The news highlights:

Collaboration to investigate allogeneic, off-the-shelf T-cell therapies for COVID-19
New collaboration to drive next-generation solution for manufacturing cell therapies
Advanced allogeneic CAR-T therapy agreement from MaxCyte and Allogene Therapeutics

Collaboration to investigate allogeneic, off-the-shelf T-cell therapies for COVID-19

The established collaboration between AlloVir (TX, USA) and Baylor College of Medicine (TX, USA) will soon strengthen and take on the challenge of COVID-19. AlloVir, a late stage T-cell therapy company, will expand its research into virus-specific T-cell treatments against the virus that causes COVID-19, utilizing the expertise at Baylor College of Medicine. If successful, an allogeneic, off-the-shelf, T-cell therapy could allow mass treatment against the virus.

“Given the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and risks to immunocompromised patients now and in the future, we believe it is our responsibility to leverage our scientific expertise and allocate resources for an allogeneic, off-the-shelf, coronavirus-specific T-cell program,” commented Ann Leen, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, AlloVir.

“Together with Baylor College of Medicine we have already advanced two highly innovative allogeneic, off-the-shelf, multi-virus specific T-cell investigational immunotherapies. We believe we can apply this same approach to develop a cell therapy to treat and prevent coronavirus infections and diseases in immunocompromised patients.”

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New collaboration to drive next-generation solution for manufacturing cell therapies

Avectas (Kildare, Ireland) and Vycellix (FL, USA) have announced a new partnership to drive forward immunotherapy. Avectas will be bringing their cell engineering technology to the immuno-discovery cell and gene company Vycellix, to work on Vycellix’s novel RNA immunomodulator, VY-M. Utilizing Avectas’s Solupore® platform for the delivery of VY-M into the target cells, the collaboration will aim to overcome the limitation of current cell-based therapies.

"We are delighted to partner with Vycellix and join forces in the development of novel cell-based products," stated Michael Maguire, 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."

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Advanced allogeneic CAR-T therapy agreement from MaxCyte and Allogene Therapeutics

MaxCyte (MD, USA), a company that focuses on clinical-stage cell-based therapies, has announced a clinical and commercial licensing agreement with Allogene Therapeutics (CA, USA), a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The agreement will allow Allogene Therapeutics to utilize MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation® technology and ExPERT™ platform to further develop their allogeneic CAR-T candidates through commercialization.

"MaxCyte's ExPERT platform has become the industry standard in electroporation technology and allows us to increase efficiency and improve yield, which is a critical component to the value proposition of our AlloCAR-T™ therapies," explained Alison Moore, Chief Technical Officer of Allogene Therapeutics. 

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For more weekly cell therapy news, read previous editions of the cell therapy weekly.

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