Around the Helix: Gene and Cell Therapy Company Updates

Many cell and gene therapy companies are initiating new programs and collaborations with the start of the new year.

As we head into 2022, many cell and gene therapy companies are growing and collaborating to develop new innovative therapies while other pharmaceutical companies are establishing cell and gene therapy divisions of their own. We have compiled the latest company news in gene and cell therapies, including partnerships, pipeline updates, and more.

1. Selecta Biosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks to Develop Next-Generation Capsids

Selecta is combining their ImmTOR platform with Ginkgo’s cell programming platform to develop safer and more effective gene therapy viral capsids. The collaboration aims to create capsids with improved transduction, reduced immunogenicity, and enhanced tissue tropism. Selecta will conduct trials to evaluate the capsids, which will be engineered by Ginkgo. 

2. Bayer and Mammoth Biosciences to Collaborate on Gene and Cell Therapy Platform

Bayer is collaborating with Mammoth to use their CRISPR platform to develop in vivo gene-editing therapies, expanding the company’s new cell and gene platform. The collaboration will initially focus on liver-targeted diseases.

3. Moderna and Carisma to Engineer CAR Monocytes

Carisma’s engineered macrophage technology and Moderna’s mRNA and lipid nanoparticle will be combined to create in vivo chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-macrophage therapeutics for various oncologic targets. Carisma will discover and optimize candidates while Modern will develop and commercialize candidates.

4. Genprex Accelerating Clinical Trial Site Openings in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Gene Therapy

Four clinical trial sites for the Acclaim-1 phase 1/2 trial (NCT04486833) will soon open to evaluate quaratusugeneozeplasmid (Reqorsa), Genprex’sImmunogene therapy, with AstraZeneca’s osimertinib (Tagrisso) for the potential treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Additional sites will later open for the phase 2 portion of the study.

5. Castle Creek Biosciences Expands Cell and Gene Therapy Platform WithNovavita Thera Acquisition

Novavita is a gene therapy company with preclinical studies in rare liver and metabolic disease in vivo gene therapies. The acquisition will bolster Castle Creek’s existing ex vivo gene therapy strategies and current programs in skin and connective tissue disorders.

6. Kriya Acquires Warden Bio, Expands Gene Therapy Pipeline

Warden Bio is developing AAV gene therapies for glycogen storage disorders, including Pompe disease. Kriya’s acquisition of Warden will be the foundation of their rare disease division. The company is also currently developing gene therapies in ophthalmology, oncology, and chronic diseases.

7. 2seventy bio and Novo Nordisk Developing In Vivo Gene Editing Approach

The new agreement expands the companies’ existing research collaboration to identify and develop a gene therapy candidate for hemophilia A. The expanded agreement will allow Novo Nordisk to license 2seventy bio’s mRNA megaTAL technology to develop an in vivo gene editing therapy for the same indication.

8. Pfizer and Beam Researching In Vivo Base Editing Targets

Pfizer and Beam are collaborating to use Beam’s mRNA and lipid nanoparticle in vivo delivery technologies to develop gene base editing programs for rare liver, muscle, and central nervous system genetic diseases. Beam will research and develop candidates which Pfizer will later develop and commercialize.

9. Bristol Myers Squibb Enters Multiple Collaborations to Develop Oncologic Cell Therapies

Bristol Myers Squibb(BMS) is collaborating with Century Therapeutics for the use of their iPSC-derived, natural killer and T cell allogeneic cell therapies to develop therapies for oncologic indications, initially acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma.

BMS also announced an expanded collaboration with ArsenalBio to initiate a new program to develop next-generation T-cell therapies for solid tumors on the same day. BMS is responsible for developing and commercializing candidates developed by their partners from both collaborations.

REFERENCES
1. Selecta Biosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks announce new collaboration to develop next-generation gene therapy capsids. News release. Selecta Biosciences. January 10, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/selecta-biosciences-and-ginkgo-bioworks-announce-new-collaboration-to-develop-next-generation-gene-therapy-capsids-301456704.html
2. Bayer and Mammoth Biosciences to collaborate on novel gene editing technology. News release. Bayer. January 10, 2022. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220109005059/en/Bayer-and-Mammoth-Biosciences-to-Collaborate-on-Novel-Gene-Editing-Technology
3. Moderna and Carisma establish collaboration to develop in vivo engineered chimeric antigen receptor monocytes (CAR-M) for oncology. News release. Moderna. January 10, 2022. https://carismatx.com/moderna-and-carisma-establish-collaboration-to-develop-in-vivo-engineered-chimeric-antigen-receptor-monocytes-car-m-for-oncology/
4. Genprex to Accelerate Opening of Acclaim-1 Clinical Trial Sites for REQORSA™ Systemic Gene Therapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. News release. Genprex. January 10, 2022. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220110005162/en/Genprex-to-Accelerate-Opening-of-Acclaim-1-Clinical-Trial-Sites-for-REQORSA%E2%84%A2-Systemic-Gene-Therapy-in-Non-Small-Cell-Lung-Cancer
5. Castle Creek Biosciences Acquires Novavita Thera to Expand Innovative Cell and Gene Therapy Platform. New release. Castle Creek Biosciences. January 10, 2022. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/castle-creek-biosciences-acquires-novavita-133000962.html
6. Kriya expands gene therapy pipeline and establishes its rare disease therapeutic area division with the acquisition of Warden Bio. News release. January 7, 2022. https://otc.duke.edu/news/kriya-expands-gene-therapy-pipeline-and-establishes-its-rare-disease-therapeutic-area-division-with-the-acquisition-of-warden-bio/
7. 2seventy bio Announces Expanded Collaboration Agreement With Novo Nordisk to Continue Development of in vivo Gene Editing Approach. News release. 2seventy bio. January 6, 2022. https://ir.2seventybio.com/news-releases/news-release-details/2seventy-bio-announces-expanded-collaboration-agreement-novo
8. Pfizer and Beam Enter Exclusive Multi-Target Research Collaboration to Advance Novel In Vivo Base Editing Programs for a Range of Rare Diseases. News release. Pfizer. January 10, 2022. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-beam-enter-exclusive-multi-target-research
9. Century Therapeutics and Bristol Myers Squibb enter into a strategic collaboration to develop iPSC-derived allogeneic cell therapies. News release. Century Therapeutics. January 10, 2022. https://news.bms.com/news/corporate-financial/2022/Century-Therapeutics-and-Bristol-Myers-Squibb-Enter-into-a-Strategic-Collaboration-to-Develop-iPSC-derived-Allogeneic-Cell-Therapies/default.aspx
10. ArsenalBio announces expansion of collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to advance T cell therapy in solid tumors. News release. ArsenalBio. January 10, 2022. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/century-therapeutics-bristol-myers-squibb-115900071.htmlhttps://finance.yahoo.com/news/arsenalbio-announces-expansion-collaboration-bristol-130000693.html