CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. | February 23, 2023
On February 22, 2023, Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology firm focused on the development of allogeneic cell therapies to restore and replace specific cell types of the human body, announced that it has entered into an exclusive option and license agreement with Eterna Therapeutics Inc. (Eterna) for the development of innovative beta 2 microglobulin (B2M)-deficient induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines that Lineage will assess for the creation of unique, differentiated cell transplant therapies.
These new cell lines to be developed by Eterna are expected to help Lineage generate more product candidates for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) conditions and other neurology indications. Eterna holds the exclusive license for the crucial intellectual property associated with this partnership, which it obtained from its discovery partner Factor Bioscience.
Following the agreement, Eterna intends to perform specific gene-editing activities and furnish materials to Lineage for assessment. In addition, the agreement grants Lineage the option to obtain an exclusive license to use and sublicense the new gene-edited cell lines for clinical, preclinical, and commercial purposes in the field of CNS diseases. A distinctive feature of the starting cell line is the targeted elimination of the B2M gene, which is aimed at minimizing the immunogenicity of product candidates generated from the cell lines by inhibiting rejection by CD8+ T cells.
Lineage anticipates that this attribute will enhance the overall usefulness of the edited cell lines, including non-immune privileged or non-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched indications. Other proposed gene modifications may additionally differentiate the cell line from those currently utilized by competitors. No details of the financial agreement were disclosed.
About Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
Founded in 1990, Lineage Cell Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel cell therapies to address unmet medical needs. The company's programs are based on its proprietary cell-based therapy platform and related development and manufacturing capabilities. By using this platform, it specializes in the development and manufacture of specialized, terminally-differentiated human cells from its progenitor and pluripotent cell starting materials. These differentiated cells are intended to either support or replace cells that are dysfunctional or absent due to degenerative disease or traumatic injury and can also be administered to help the body mount an effective immune response to cancer.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Scientist.com | February 02, 2023
On February 1, 2023, Scientist.com, the biopharma industry's largest R&D marketplace, announced the release of a new iOS mobile app. The app provides a new, easy-to-use, on-the-go experience for purchase request approvals and compliance. In addition, iPhone users receive untethered notifications for accepting, delegating, and clarifying requests without needing to use their computers. The result is speedier approvals and fewer delays in scientific discovery.
Scientist.com has spent the past fourteen years developing a digital marketplace that allows scientists to devote more time to science and less time to paperwork. The platform enables researchers to test more ideas in less time and at a lesser cost. It digitizes a company's complete research activities, automatically tracking purchases, contract management, payment processing, and generating business intelligence reports.
Scientist.com Founder and CTO Chris Petersen commented, "One of the major barriers to drug discovery is the time it takes to ensure all compliance measures are met for a given research project, and understandably so." He added, "Our goal in building the Compliance Mobile App is to put compliance in the pocket of approvers, therefore minimizing the time it takes for researchers to move through the R&D process."
(Source – Business Wire)
Registered users of the Scientist.com platform can now get the Compliance Mobile App free from the Apple App Store
Founded in 2007, Scientist.com is the world's largest medical research marketplace. Its digital research platform combines a custom-built, cloud-native technology stack with a white-glove customer and scientific support, helping pharmaceutical scientists discover life-saving drugs in less time and at a lower cost. As a result, Scientist.com is accelerating and lowering the cost of medical research by connecting scientists and allowing them to exchange ideas and transact online effortlessly. The company now has a presence in enterprise marketplaces for 20 of the world's top 30 pharmaceutical firms, 80 biotechnology enterprises, and the National Institutes of Health in the United States (NIH).
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Axcella | February 16, 2023
On February 15, 2023, Axcella Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology firm that develops innovative approaches to complex diseases using multi-targeted endogenous metabolic modulator (EMM) compositions, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to initiate a phase 2b/3 trial in the United States for AXA1125 for the treatment of Long COVID Fatigue.
The company stated that it has obtained FDA regulatory guidance in favor of a trial that would serve as the registration trial for patients with Long COVID Fatigue. The trial now has acceptance from both the U.K. and U.S. regulatory authorities.
Last month, the company also announced a regulatory path to registration for the treatment of Long COVID Fatigue with AXA1125, having received regulatory guidance from the U.K.'s regulatory agency, The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), supporting a single trial that can serve as the registration trial for patients suffering from Long COVID Fatigue.
The guidance follows the company's submission of data to both regulatory agencies, including results from the Phase 2a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, which showed that patients who received AXA1125 experienced statistically and clinically significant improvements in both physical (p=0.0097) and mental fatigue (p=0.0097) scores compared to those on the placebo.
Consistent with the Ph2a trial, the trial for phase 2b/3 will register patients with fatigue lasting at least 12 weeks post-COVID-19 infection. The primary endpoint will use the same patient reported outcome tool, the Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire (CFQ-11), to measure fatigue improvements alongside physical function, quality of life, and ability to return to work as additional endpoints. The trial participants will receive AXA1125 or a placebo for three months.
Long COVID is a persistent long-term effect of the pandemic, which affects a large number of patients worldwide, estimated to be around one hundred million. Fatigue is the most frequently reported symptom, with recent estimates indicating that 15-20% of Americans with COVID suffer from ongoing health problems, and up to four million Americans are unable to work because of Long COVID symptoms. In addition, Long COVID has caused approximately $1 trillion in lost earnings and $544 billion in increased medical expenses.
Founded in 2010, Axcella is a clinical-stage biotechnology firm dedicated to introducing a novel approach to treating complex diseases using endogenous metabolic modulator (EMM) compositions. Its product candidates contain EMMs and derivatives that are engineered in distinct ratios and combinations to reset multiple biological pathways, improve cellular energetics, and restore homeostasis. The company's pipeline includes lead therapeutic candidates undergoing Phase 2 development for the reduction in risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) recurrence, the treatment of Long COVID, and the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).