- Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU) has recently entered into a research collaboration with Celularity Inc. (Nasdaq: CELU).
- The research collaboration agreement has an initial term of twelve months.
- The broad research partnership includes the development of Imugene’s CF33-CD19 oncolytic virus (onCARlytics) with Celularity’s CyCART-19 therapy.
The clinical-stage immuno-oncology firm Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU) has recently released additional information with regard to its strategic research partnership with Celularity Inc. (Nasdaq: CELU). Celularity is a US-based clinical-stage biotechnology firm advancing off-the-shelf placental-derived allogeneic therapies.
With the strategic partnership, Imugene aims to develop the combination of its CD19 oncolytic virus (OV) technology and Celularity’s allogeneic CD19 targeting CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T cellular therapy, CyCART-19, for treating patients with solid tumours.
Imugene informed that the broad research partnership is material to the Company as it includes the development of its CF33-CD19 oncolytic virus (onCARlytics) with Celularity’s CyCART-19 therapy. This combination has the potential to become a novel approach to improve outcomes for patients with solid tumours.
Terms of research collaboration agreement
Imugene notified that the research collaboration agreement has an initial term of twelve months and is effective as of 5 August 2021. The Company will fund its component of the research partnership from the planned research budget and, thus, no additional funding is needed for the research partnership.
At present, each party has full IP (Intellectual Property) rights to their individual background technology. In case the new IP is generated from the research collaboration, the parties shall discuss in good faith the maintenance, enforcement, filing, prosecution, defense of any patent applications relating to it, as well as each party’s right to use a Combination Invention.
After the successful completion of the preclinical research, both parties will negotiate a collaboration agreement in good faith on commercially reasonable terms.
Significance of Celularity’s CyCART-19 therapy
Celularity’s CyCART-19 is a placental-derived T cell therapy engineered with a CAR that is allogeneic, cryopreserved, and available off-the-shelf that clinicians can access on demand, enabling repeat dosing/multiple cycles as needed in an outpatient setting.
The CyCART-19 therapy has demonstrated increased T-cell growth with the continuous killing of tumour cells in vivo. The therapy also shows significantly reduced tumor burden and survival benefit compared to adult blood-derived CD19 CAR-T cells in vivo. Meanwhile, CyCART-19 exhibits stem cell memory characteristics as proven by durable antitumor activity and greater in vivo persistence in preclinical models.
The combination of CyCART-19 therapy and Imugene’s oncolytic virus technology is expected to lay the foundation for a unique approach for treating patients with solid tumours. Nonclinical in vitro and in vivo combination studies with CyCART-19 and onCARlytics are anticipated to commence in 2021.
Imugene shares are trading at AU$0.285 as of 1:29 PM AEST.