Cell BioEngines Enters into an Exclusive Worldwide Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Potent Immune Cell States to Cure Cancer
Cell BioEngines, a cell and gene therapy company focused on developing an allogenic cell-based product for solid tumors, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York, NY for the development and worldwide commercialization rights relating to intellectual property for differentiating most potent immune cell from stem cells and large-scale manufacturing. Under the agreement, Cell BioEngines will utilize Icahn Mount Sinai’s technology platform to develop discrete immune cell-based therapies, such as subtypes of dendritic cells (DC), NK cells, and macrophages, previously inaccessible to cancer patients.
The licensed technology is based on discoveries by Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer Research at Icahn Mount Sinai, Member of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, and Member of The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center together with Sreekumar Balan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) in the Bhardwaj lab at Icahn Mount Sinai. Under the terms of the agreement, Icahn Mount Sinai will be eligible to receive an undisclosed upfront cash payment as well as additional milestones based on development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.
“Cell BioEngines is truly honored and excited to have this opportunity to advance Icahn Mount Sinai’s discovery to offer great hope for people with cancer and position Cell BioEngines to be a key player in the immune cell-based therapeutics area,” said Ajay Vishwakarma, DMD, MSc, MBA, Founder and CEO of Cell BioEngines Inc. “The technology platform developed in Nina’s laboratory fundamentally embraces the incredible complexity of discovering single immune cell signatures in the tumor microenvironment, building on my previous research conducted at Harvard Medical School/Broad Institute and enables us to differentiate and manufacture the most potent clusters of immune cell states in high numbers that are spatially stable and chemically configured to activate a robust response against cancer,” he added.
“We are excited by the broad product potential the technology platform can offer to fight multiple solid tumors and help many people throughout the world. And certain immune cells like dendritic cells or natural killer cells are so rare, it’s not easy to even isolate the broad cell types, let alone the specific cell states,” said Alexey Bersenev, MD, PhD, Laboratory Director of Advanced Cell Therapy at the Yale New Haven Hospital, Co-founder, and Chief Technology Officer of Cell BioEngines Inc. Dr. Bersenev was previously involved in transfer of manufacturing process of the first commercial CAR-T cell product, Kymriah, from University of Pennsylvania to Novartis.
The primary product focus of Cell BioEngines is to stimulate patients’ adaptive immune system using a DC-based therapeutic cancer vaccine, now well-known for driving response in treatment-naïve and immunotherapy patients. Although CAR-T cells can be effective for blood cancers with identifiable tumor-specific surface antigens, targeting broader set of anonymous antigens and priming new tumor-reactive T cells are distinct cell-based benefits of cancer vaccines in solid tumors.
“We are delighted that the potency of conventional type I dendritic cell subsets (cDC1), a non-redundant cell subset in antitumor immunity will be evaluated for the first time in the clinic to treat cancer patients,” said Dr. Bhardwaj. “Our immune cell generation platform can generate billions of functional dendritic cell subtypes and provide an option for developing off-the shelf cellular vaccine for cancer immunotherapy,” said Dr. Balan, who invented the technology with Dr. Bhardwaj.
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