Fibrocell Science and Intrexon Corporation announce exclusive channel collaboration

Written by Elena Conroy

The two companies are collaborating to develop cell-based treatments for chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the joint.

Fibrocell Science, Inc., (MD, USA), an autologous cell and gene therapy company translating personalized biologics into medical breakthroughs, and Intrexon Corporation (VA, USA), a leader in synthetic biology, announced an Exclusive Channel Collaboration for the development of genetically modified fibroblasts to treat chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the joint, including arthritis and related conditions.

Arthritis is a condition characterized by joint inflammation, pain and decreased range of motion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it is the most common cause of disability affecting more than 52 million adults as well as 300,000 children in the USA, at a cost exceeding $120 billion.

“The synergy of our versatile fibroblast platform with Intrexon’s genetic engineering is readily apparent through two product candidates, FCX-007 and FCX-013, which have generated encouraging preclinical data across difficult-to-treat indications,” explained David Pernock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fibrocell. “We are excited by the expansion of our relationship with Intrexon and believe the power of our combined platforms will allow us to vie for leadership in this major therapeutic category and bring hope to patients and their families.”

Through this new collaboration, Fibrocell’s proprietary fibroblast platform will be combined with Intrexon’s cellular engineering capabilities to generate cell-based therapeutics that have been modified to express one or more proteins at sites of joint inflammation. This will help overcome the limitations of existing treatment approaches for chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the joint.

Under the terms of the agreement, Intrexon will receive a technology access fee of $10 million in cash and reimbursement for all research and development costs. The agreement also provides for regulatory and commercial milestone payments to Intrexon for each collaboration product of up to $30 million and $22.5 million, respectively, as well as a low double-digit royalty based on the net sales from collaboration products

“With present standards of care focused on limiting symptoms and slowing progression, optimal therapy for inflammatory, degenerative diseases of the joints represents a major unmet medical need and a significant commercial opportunity,” stated Samuel Broder, Senior Vice President and Head of Intrexon’s Health Sector. “With Intrexon’s Better DNA® suite of proprietary technologies, our innovative engineered cell-based therapies may provide long-lasting effect while minimizing the repeated injections necessary with current treatments.”