INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, DIAGNOSTICS
businesswire | March 23, 2023
AbCellera and RQ Bio announced today that they have entered into a strategic collaboration to identify optimal clinical candidates for up to three infectious disease targets selected by RQ Bio, including influenza and cytomegalovirus (CMV). The partnership aims to provide long-lasting infectious diseases medicines to high-risk patients by bringing together RQ Bio’s expertise in infectious diseases and viral evolution with AbCellera’s discovery engine for finding rare, highly potent antibodies.
“We believe antibody therapies have an important role to play in protecting the most clinically at-risk populations from infectious diseases,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., founder and CEO of AbCellera. “AbCellera’s discovery engine complements RQ Bio’s capabilities and provides a technology advantage that we believe will help bring new medicines for infectious disease to patients faster.”
“Both RQ Bio and AbCellera have proven track records in developing infectious disease medicines that have a rapid impact on vulnerable patients,” said Hugo Fry, CEO of RQ Bio. “We look forward to working with AbCellera to quickly advance our pipeline of infectious disease medicines for people who are at risk of severe disease or death from viral infections.”
Under the terms of the agreement, RQ Bio has the right to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies resulting from the collaboration. AbCellera will receive research payments and is eligible to receive downstream clinical and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products.
About AbCellera Biologics Inc.
AbCellera is breaking the barriers of conventional antibody drug discovery to bring better medicines to patients, sooner. AbCellera’s engine integrates expert teams, technology, and facilities with the data science and automation needed to propel antibody-based medicines from target to clinic in nearly every therapeutic area with precision and speed. AbCellera provides innovative biotechs and leading pharmaceutical companies with a competitive advantage that empowers them to move quickly, reduce cost, and tackle the toughest problems in drug development.
Globenewswire | May 19, 2023
Mustang Bio, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on translating today’s medical breakthroughs in cell and gene therapies into potential cures for difficult-to-treat cancers and rare genetic diseases, today announced a strategic update, including anticipated milestones for 2023. Mustang intends to optimize the allocation of its resources and focus on MB-106, MB-109, and in vivo CAR T platform technology. Additionally, Mustang announced a partnership with uBriGene (Boston) Biosciences Inc. (“uBriGene”), the U.S. subsidiary of uBriGene Group, a leading cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (“CDMO”), which includes the sale of the Company’s development, manufacturing and analytical testing facility in Worcester, Massachusetts to uBriGene.
Under the terms of an asset purchase agreement between Mustang and uBriGene, uBriGene will acquire Mustang’s state-of-the-art clinical- and commercial-scale cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility in Worcester, Massachusetts, for a total consideration of $11 million. This consideration includes $6 million payable upfront plus an additional $5 million payable upon Mustang raising $10 million in gross proceeds from equity raises following the closing of the transaction. The closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including approval of transfer of the Company’s lease to uBriGene by the owner of the building (an affiliate of the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School) and the acceptance of offers of employment with uBriGene or its affiliates by certain key current Mustang employees. Subject to satisfaction of conditions, the Company expects the transactions to close in June 2023.
Subject to closing, the parties will enter into a manufacturing supply agreement, under which uBriGene will manufacture Mustang’s lead product candidates, including continuing to support MB-106 manufacturing for the ongoing multi-center Phase 1/2 trial.
Mustang’s Worcester facility is a 27,000 square foot, cutting edge cGMP facility supporting process development, manufacturing and analytical testing, designed with the flexibility to expand and support various cell and gene therapy production requirements and capacities. uBriGene intends to expand the Worcester site’s capabilities while leveraging Mustang’s experienced staff and robust quality and operating systems to manufacture a broader portfolio of advanced modalities. uBriGene will also offer their expertise in preclinical research services and late-stage and commercial manufacturing of advanced therapy products with respect to product and process characterization, and regulatory inspections.
Manuel Litchman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Mustang, commented, “We are very pleased to have found a great partner for the manufacturing of our CAR T cell and gene therapies, and we believe that this strategic partnership with uBriGene will meet our portfolio manufacturing needs to reach critical upcoming data inflection points, while extending our cash runway. I want to thank our manufacturing team for their dedication in building and growing our Worcester facility since it opened in 2018. While we are optimizing our resources at Mustang, we look forward to continuing to work with many of our colleagues in this new capacity, as our CDMO.”
“This acquisition is important to uBriGene’s commitment to support the development, clinical, and commercial supply of cell and gene therapies to sustain industry demand and provide new CDMO options,” said Alex Chen, President of uBriGene. “We look forward to working together with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and local biotechnology companies to continue to advance the manufacturing ecosystem in the Greater Boston region. This partnership enables us to expand rapidly to create a North American presence and offer the same high-quality cell and gene therapy development and manufacturing capabilities for the U.S. that we currently provide in Asia, including to support Mustang Bio’s lead clinical-stage CAR-T program.”
Mustang Bio Strategic Portfolio Updates
CAR T Cell Therapies
After a review of its portfolio of product candidates to determine the future strategy of its programs and the proper allocation of its resources, Mustang will discontinue development of its MB-102, its CD123-targeted CAR T cell therapy, as well as its HER2-, CS1- and PSCA-targeted CAR T cell therapy programs, comprising a portion of the Company’s portfolio of CAR T cell therapies being developed by the Company in partnership with City of Hope.
Mustang will continue to work with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center to develop MB-106 and with Mayo Clinic to develop its in vivo CAR T platform technology. Mustang will also continue to work with City of Hope and with Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the development of MB-109 (MB-101 CAR T cell therapy targeting IL13Rα2 on malignant glioma cells + MB-108 oncolytic virus to potentially make these tumors more susceptible to killing by the CAR-T cells).
Additionally, based on a review of the data from the investigator-sponsored clinical trials of the gene therapy for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (“XSCID”) that has been licensed to Mustang Bio, enrollment to these trials has been paused. We await data from new investigator-sponsored trials being planned by our partners that will test a modified version of the current lentiviral vector prior to initiating multicenter Mustang-sponsored trials in both the newborn and previously transplanted patient populations. No safety concerns in the trials utilizing the current vector have been noted to date and no insertional mutagenesis or malignancy has been detected in either of the two investigator-sponsored trials. However, Mustang has made the decision to delay initiating its own sponsored trials out of an abundance of caution, and once we have had the opportunity to review the emerging data from the planned trials utilizing the modified vector, Mustang expects to provide more information on timelines
About Mustang Bio
Mustang Bio, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on translating today’s medical breakthroughs in cell and gene therapies into potential cures for hematologic cancers, solid tumors and rare genetic diseases. Mustang aims to acquire rights to these technologies by licensing or otherwise acquiring an ownership interest, to fund research and development, and to outlicense or bring the technologies to market. Mustang has partnered with top medical institutions to advance the development of CAR-T therapies across multiple cancers, as well as lentiviral gene therapies for severe combined immunodeficiency. Mustang’s common stock is registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Mustang files periodic reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Mustang was founded by Fortress Biotech, Inc.
MEDICAL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
PRNewswire | May 17, 2023
REGENXBIO Inc. announced that preclinical research in Mucopolysaccharidosis type IVA also known as Morquio syndrome, was selected for inclusion in the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (AMP® BGTC), clinical trial portfolio. The Consortium brings together partners such as NIH and FDA, as well as partners from private and non-profit sectors.
Sponsored by Nemours Children's Hospital, MPS IVA is one of eight programs selected as part of AMP® BGTC's first clinical portfolio to help accelerate the development of bespoke gene therapies, with the goal of streamlining the regulatory approval process. MPS IVA is a metabolic condition that primarily affects the skeleton, and is estimated to impact 1 in 200,000 to 300,000 individuals.
"I am proud of our scientists who led this important clinical research work for REGENXBIO. Our mission to deliver the curative potential of gene therapy reflects not only patients that can be impacted by our clinical pipeline, but also all patients who should have the opportunity to be positively impacted by gene therapy," said Kenneth T. Mills, President and CEO REGENXBIO. "As a partner of the BGTC, REGENXBIO is pleased to see this program advancing important science into the clinic."
Criteria for selection included the adequacy of the gene for insertion into an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector, sufficient proof of concept and natural history data, the existence of an established disease model, a lack of available treatment and an overall readiness for entering into a clinical trial. REGENXBIO will donate licenses to NAV® AAV8 and NAV® AAV9 from its NAV® Technology Platform to enable AMP® BGTC's development of these programs aimed at addressing ultra rare diseases. Use of the NAV® Technology Platform will help address the goal of making gene therapy more accessible by creating a platform approach with standardized processes to deliver novel therapies for many different genetic disorders. These programs together further validate the versatility of NAV® vectors and will provide additional data that collectively drive the advancement of the AAV gene therapy field.
About REGENXBIO Inc.
REGENXBIO is a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company seeking to improve lives through the curative potential of gene therapy. REGENXBIO's NAV Technology Platform, a proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene delivery platform, consists of exclusive rights to more than 100 novel AAV vectors, including AAV7, AAV8 and AAV9. REGENXBIO and its third-party NAV Technology Platform Licensees are applying the NAV Technology Platform in the development of a broad pipeline of candidates, including late-stage and commercial programs, in multiple therapeutic areas. REGENXBIO is committed to a "5x'25" strategy to progress five AAV Therapeutics from our internal pipeline and licensed programs into pivotal-stage or commercial products by 2025.