CELL AND GENE THERAPY
SQZ Biotechnologies | July 13, 2022
SQZ Biotechnologies Company focused on unlocking the full potential of cell therapies for multiple therapeutic areas, announced the publication of a technical review examining the ability of SQZ® Antigen Presenting Cells to activate CD8 T cells through MHC-I antigen presentation, an approach that may enable a more powerful T cell response and infiltration into solid tumors. Published in ESMO’s Immuno-Oncology and Technology journal, the review further explores the advantages of the company’s Cell Squeeze® technology in cell engineering and manufacturing as well as potential opportunities to develop additional clinical candidates with enhanced capabilities.
“In this review, for patients with solid tumors, we discuss the critical need to generate CD8 T cell penetration into the tumor microenvironment. Activation of CD8 T cells through MHC-I antigen presentation is a promising approach and is being tested in the SQZ-PBMC-HPV-101 clinical trial where we’ve seen increases in CD8 T cell tumor infiltration and clinical benefit in a refractory patient with HPV16-mediated cancer. We look forward to potentially building on these early results through combination with various immunomodulatory drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors.”
lead author Jong Chul Park, MD, Medical Oncologist, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and SQZ® cell therapy trial site investigator
SQZ has three ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trials aiming to drive CD8 T cell responses against HPV16+ solid tumors. Given the broad relevance of CD8 T cell responses across tumors, the authors highlight potential for future expansion of development programs into additional areas such as mutant KRAS, mutant TP53, EBV, and other patient-specific antigens.
SQZ-PBMC-HPV is the company’s Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) autologous cell therapy clinical candidate and is derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), primarily composed of monocytes, T cells, B cells, and NK cells, and engineered with tumor specific E6 and E7 peptide antigens. It received FDA fast track designation in April 2022. In December 2021, the company presented clinical data at the European Society for Medical Oncology Immuno-Oncology (ESMO-IO) congress that included a checkpoint refractory head-and-neck cancer patient who demonstrated a radiographic, symptomatic, and immune response in the monotherapy cohort of the Phase 1/2 clinical trial.
SQZ-PBMC-HPV-101 Trial Design
SQZ-PBMC-HPV is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of HPV16+ advanced or metastatic solid tumors. Patients must be positive for the human leukocyte antigen serotype HLA-A*02. The investigational candidate, which targets E6 and E7 oncoproteins, is being studied as a monotherapy and in combination with immuno-oncology agents. The study’s primary outcome measures in the monotherapy and combination phases of the trial include safety and tolerability. Antitumor activity is a secondary outcome measure in both the monotherapy and combination phases of the trial, and manufacturing feasibility is a secondary outcome measure in the monotherapy phase of the trial. The monotherapy phase of the study includes escalating dose cohorts with a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) window of 28 days and is designed to identify a recommended phase 2 dose. The planned combination phase of the study will include SQZ-PBMC-HPV and checkpoint inhibitors. DLT will be measured over 42 days.
About Human Papillomavirus Positive Cancers
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common viruses worldwide and certain strains persist for many years, often leading to cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States HPV+ tumors represent 3% of all cancers in women and 2% of all cancers in men, resulting in over 39,000 new cases of HPV+ tumors every year. HPV infection is larger outside of the U.S., and according to the International Journal of Cancer, HPV+ tumors account for 4.5% of all cancers worldwide resulting in approximately 630,000 new cases every year. According to the CDC, HPV infection plays a significant role in the formation of more than 90% of anal and cervical cancers, and most cases of vaginal (75%), oropharyngeal (70%), vulval (70%) and penile (60%) cancers.
About SQZ Biotechnologies
SQZ Biotechnologies is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on unlocking the full potential of cell therapies to benefit patients with cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases. The company’s proprietary Cell Squeeze® technology offers the unique ability to deliver multiple biological materials into many patient cell types to engineer what we believe can be a broad range of potential therapeutics. Our goal is to create well-tolerated cell therapies that can provide therapeutic benefit for patients and improve the patient experience over existing cell therapy approaches. With accelerated production timelines under 24 hours and the opportunity to eliminate preconditioning and lengthy hospital stays, our approach could change the way people think about cell therapies. The company’s first therapeutic applications seek to generate target-specific immune responses, both in activation for the treatment of solid tumors and in immune tolerance for the treatment of unwanted immune reactions and autoimmune diseases.
Willow Biosciences | June 01, 2022
Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable ingredients is pleased to announce today that is has been engaged by a specialty pharmaceutical company (the "Counterparty") to optimize an enzyme vital to the development of a large volume Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) used in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. The Counterparty is partnered with a large-cap, multi-national healthcare company.
This is a significant step forward in the evolution of Willow's business ,This new partnership highlights the capabilities of our scientific team, and demonstrates to our stakeholders the wide array of opportunities accessible to Willow's comprehensive FutureGrownTM technology platform. As Willow continues to expand its capabilities and add new partnerships, Willow is on a path to becoming the premier name in biobased manufacturing."
Trevor Peters, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer.
The project consists of research & development and commercialization phases, with revenue coming from both research fees and milestone payments. Following commercialization, Willow anticipates an on-going revenue stream from license payments.
About Willow Biosciences Inc.
Willow develops and produces high-purity ingredients for the personal care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. Willow's FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform allows large-scale production with sustainability at its core. Willow's R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products to benefit our B2B partners and their customers.
BiOWiSH Technologies, Inc. | July 22, 2022
BiOWiSH Technologies, Inc. and SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company announced the successful completion of a year-long technical evaluation of BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid technology coated on SABIC’s urea in nine countries across five continents and nine different crop types.
BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid is a blend of proprietary microbial cultures that can be coated onto dry fertilizer or mixed with liquid fertilizers to create an enhanced efficiency fertilizer specifically designed to optimize yield potential and improve soil productivity.
Featuring the company’s proprietary HoloGene 3™ technology, BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid creates a high-performance partnership between the plant and BiOWiSH microorganisms. The new alliance has a combined genetic profilethat enhances native microbial activity in the soil, promotes soil quality, and supports the plant’s natural ability to resist environmental stress. This optimizes crop yield potential by increasing nutrient availability and improving soil productivity and plant vigor.
This unique mode of action, combined with the product’s industry-leading shelf life, is proven to achieve consistent desired results across a broad range of operating conditions, climates and environments – all at a low cost to farmers.
“We are thrilled to confirm that SABIC AN Bio-Enhanced Urea powered by BiOWiSH® has performed extremely well in the field,”
Munif Al-Munif, General Manager Agri-Nutrients Technology at SABIC AN
“Our uniform, high-crushing strength urea combined with the superior technology of BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid delivers extended stability and consistent performance at a price per acre farmers can afford. In an industry challenged with high regulatory pressures and global food demand, we are excited to offer a sustainable product that safely increases crop production and generates higher profits for growers,” he added.
The market launch of SABIC AN Enhanced Urea will initially be fulfilled through SABIC AN partners in select target countries while the teams work together to expand in other regions around the world. The launch follows extensive successful testing of the product across multiple international markets, including the United States.
The Bio-Enhanced Urea, powered by BiOWiSH®, will be available at the same price as standard urea through the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) and American Plant Food (APF) for a limited time in select areas. Customers can contact their ADM or APF representative for more details.
In addition, SABIC AN and BiOWiSH have constructed a joint development platform designed to advance further customizations across a range of SABIC AN’s high-efficiency fertilizers. This partnership is the foundation for future products and other agronomic innovations.
“We appreciate the close collaboration with SABIC AN’s team,” said BiOWiSH CEO Ian Edwards. “It is very exciting that a market-leading fertilizer company such as SABIC AN recognizes the importance of biologicals and is placing such high focus and energy on bringing Bio-Enhanced Mineral Fertilizer to customers across the globe. Together, we will work toward our shared goal of developing agricultural solutions that help farmers maximize productivity and increase income – while at the same time, improving environmental outcomes.”
SABIC AN Bio-Enhanced Urea will be available to farmers in additional locations in the future, enabling growers to experience the benefits of BiOWiSH®-powered fertilizer.
About BiOWiSH Technologies
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, BiOWiSH Technologies, Inc. is a global provider of biotechnology solutions for the agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental management industries. As a leader in the agricultural market, we help farmers increase crop production sustainably, safely and cost effectively. Our revolutionary BiOWiSH® Crop Liquid can be coated onto dry fertilizer or mixed with liquid fertilizer to create an enhanced efficiency fertilizer that optimizes yield potential, expresses plant vigor and improves soil productivity across a broad range of operating conditions, climates and environments. By unifying nature and science, BiOWiSH reinvents the way food is grown.
About SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company
SABIC AN is a public joint stock company listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange where SABIC owns 50.1% with the remaining 49.9% being held by the private sector and the public. It is one of the leading global fertilizer producers. SABIC AN portfolio includes urea, ammonia, phosphate and other specialized products.