CELL AND GENE THERAPY
CSL Plasma | August 08, 2022
CSL Plasma, the plasma collection business of global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring, began a new era in plasma donations, collecting its first plasma donations using leading-edge plasma collection technology that is expected to significantly reduce average collection time – by approximately one-third – and improve the donor experience.
The Rika Plasma Donation System, only available at CSL Plasma and developed by Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, is designed to reduce collection time, and improve the donor and operator experience. When considering prior average CSL Plasma donation procedure times, this could represent about a 30% reduction in average donation time for donors.
The new plasmapheresis system first launched today in the Aurora, Colorado, CSL Plasma location, as part of a phased rollout to CSL Plasma U.S. collection centers. Plasma collected at CSL Plasma facilities is used in the manufacturing of lifesaving plasma-derived therapies.
"Today marks a threshold moment for plasma donors following years of dedication, innovation and collaboration – demonstrating how we are driven by our promise in delivering lifesaving and life-extending therapies to patients around the world. We look forward to the positive impact this new technology brings and are thankful for plasma donors who continue to do the amazing every day when they donate at CSL Plasma."
CSL Chief Operating Officer Paul McKenzie
CSL Plasma believes features of the new Rika system can enable the collection of more plasma, in shorter periods of time, supporting quality and safety, and, ultimately, better serving patients who rely on plasma-based therapies.
One of the first plasma donors to experience the Rika system, Kelly Geiser is a resident of the Denver area. She has donated plasma since 2017, and is a Platinum level donor as part of CSL Plasma's donor loyalty program, iGive Rewards®.
Geiser appreciated that she was able to complete the donation procedure with the new technology in under 35 minutes and in the fastest donation time she has experienced, while every plasma donor's experience will vary. Donating plasma is also personal for Geiser, who says that therapies made from plasma have helped her and her family, including a parent who recently underwent emergency surgery.
"It feels good knowing I'm helping people and, who knows, I might've helped somebody I know," said Geiser.
According to Terumo BCT, benefits of the Rika Plasma Donation System include
Rika completes one plasma collection in 35 minutes or less on average. The proprietary design of the system's centrifuge maximizes the plasma yield per cycle.
The Rika Plasma Donation System was designed to allow no more than 200 milliliters of blood cells outside the donor's body, resulting in a low extracorporeal volume, which may contribute to a more comfortable donor experience.
With less than 200 milliliters of blood cells outside the donor's body at any given time, should the initial procedure not be completed, the donor can return and donate without being deferred.
The device is designed with an advanced user interface to guide CSL Plasma front-line employees. Operators can quickly and confidently resolve alarms, thanks to guidance provided on the Rika system's touchscreen, which also alerts operators about situations that require attention and provides suggested actions to resolve the situation. The system allows for real-time data analytics to drive device maintenance and repairs.
CSL Plasma is implementing the new devices at Colorado centers and then expanding to other U.S. locations, providing donors more opportunities to "do the amazing" and be rewarded for their generosity.
"As a long-time leader in our industry, CSL Plasma looks forward to this new plasmapheresis technology to delight our plasma donors and attract new donors while supporting a better operating experience for our employees," said Walter Charles, CSL Plasma Senior Vice President and General Manager. "As we complete the implementation of new technology at U.S. centers, we continue to address the critical and ongoing need for human plasma to produce life-saving medicines for people with serious and rare diseases."
About CSL Plasma
CSL Plasma operates one of the world's largest and most sophisticated plasma collection networks, with more than 300 plasma collection centers in the U.S., Europe and China. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, CSL Plasma is a subsidiary of CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics company and a member of the CSL Group of companies. Plasma collected at CSL Plasma facilities is used by CSL Behring for the sole purpose of manufacturing lifesaving plasma-derived therapies for people in more than 100 countries. The parent company, CSL Limited headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 25,000 people.
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by our promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients' needs by using the latest technologies, we discover, develop and deliver innovative therapies for people living with conditions in the immunology, hematology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, and transplant therapeutic areas. We use three strategic scientific platforms of plasma fractionation, recombinant protein technology, and cell and gene therapy to support continued innovation and continually refine ways in which products can address unmet medical needs and help patients lead full lives.
AbCellera and Versant Ventures | July 28, 2022
AbCellera and Versant Ventures announced a multi-year collaboration to discover therapeutic antibodies for multiple targets selected by Versant’s portfolio of biologics-focused biotechs. Versant and AbCellera already have enabled three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies under previous partnerships.
Under the terms of the deal, Versant portfolio companies will have rights to develop and commercialize the resulting therapeutic antibodies. AbCellera will receive research payments from the companies and will be eligible to receive downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments plus royalties on net sales of products. Further terms are not disclosed.
"In recent years we have made a series of investments into the next generation of therapeutic antibodies. We are seeing a wave of innovation in the antibody space that is allowing us to add novel functionalities to these molecules. Our partnership with AbCellera will further enable our portfolio companies to pursue these important biologic medicines.”
Markus Enzelberger, Ph.D., a partner at Versant
“AbCellera’s discovery technology provides a complete solution for antibody therapeutics that unlocks new opportunities and levels the playing field for smaller companies, allowing them to advance programs faster, more efficiently and with a competitive advantage,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO and President of AbCellera. “We are excited to deepen our relationship with the Versant team and look forward to helping them continue a strong track record of bringing together breakthrough science, experienced teams, and capital to create bold new biotech companies.”
Previously, Versant and AbCellera partnered in separate multi-target deals to enable three of the firm’s stealth-stage companies with new approaches to optimize and expand antibody therapies. These include antibody-focused newcos in the fields of immunology and oncology based in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare venture capital firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm’s emphasis is on biotechnology companies that are discovering and developing novel therapeutics. With $4.2 billion under management and offices in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating and R&D expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm’s founding in 1999, more than 85 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is a technology company that searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease. AbCellera partners with drug developers of all sizes, from large pharmaceutical to small biotechnology companies, empowering them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.
ProPhase Labs, Inc. | June 29, 2022
ProPhase Labs, Inc., a diversified biotech, genomics, and diagnostics company manufacturing homeopathic and health products, announced the formation of a new wholly-owned subsidiary, ProPhase BioPharma, Inc. (PBIO), for the development and licensing of new therapeutic compounds, drugs, and biotechnology. The subsidiary will be focused on advancements in technology across the biochemical industry and creating and developing new solutions that can transform the outcomes of healthcare.
The company has also entered into a license agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of DSS, Inc., Global BioLife, Inc. (Global BioLife), for Equivir G and Equivir, proprietary compounds that were developed by Global Research and Discovery Group (GRDG). According to the terms of the contract, ProPhase Labs will be the only company that can develop and sell Equivir G and Equivir, globally.
“We are thrilled to announce the formation of ProPhase BioPharma, our new wholly-owned subsidiary tasked with licensing and developing novel drugs, compounds, and biotechnology. We are equally pleased with our first licensing agreement for Equivir and Equivir G, which we believe have significant potential to improve human health outcomes worldwide.”
Ted Karkus, ProPhase Lab’s Chief Executive Officer
He further added, “We plan to pursue commercialization of Equivir as an OTC supplement, leveraging our distribution in over 40,000 Food Drug and Mass retail stores and online direct to consumer. We also look forward to applying to the FDA for an IND for Equivir G as a prescription antiviral.”
Frank. D. Heuszel, Chief Executive Officer of DSS, said “We are excited to team up with ProPhase Labs, which will apply its nearly three decades of experience enhancing the health of the public to Equivir, which we believe to be a ground-breaking treatment that will positively impact health in the U.S. and globally.”