" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Lineage Enters License Agreement With Eterna Therapeutics
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Lineage Enters Into Option and License Agreement With Eterna Therapeutics to Develop Hypoimmune Pluripotent Cell Lines for Multiple Neurology Indications

Lineage Cell Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing allogeneic cell therapies to replace and restore specific cell types of the human body, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive option and license agreement with Eterna Therapeutics for the development of novel beta 2 microglobulin (B2M)-deficient induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines, which Lineage will evaluate for development into differentiated cell transplant therapies.

The new cell lines to be developed by Eterna will support the potential creation of additional product candidates at Lineage, specifically for the treatment of certain central nervous system (CNS) disorders and other neurology indications. Eterna is the exclusive licensee of the key intellectual property underlying this collaboration from its discovery partner Factor Bioscience.

“This agreement provides the opportunity to combine insights obtained from our dry age-related macular degeneration program with new tools, to broaden the scope of our technology and may help deliver solutions for a wider range of diseases. The engineering of desirable properties into cell lines can also lead to treatments that are highly differentiated from our competitors,” stated Brian M. Culley, Lineage’s CEO. “The initial cell lines we envision bringing into the clinic through this agreement will utilize proprietary mRNA-based gene-editing technology developed by Eterna’s CEO, Dr. Matt Angel. It is natural that we would look to introduce aspects of gene editing, hypoimmunity, and additional pluripotent cell lines alongside our existing directed differentiation capabilities in the furtherance of our overall goal of becoming a comprehensive leader in cell therapy.”

Under the Agreement, Eterna plans to conduct certain gene-editing activities and provide materials to Lineage for evaluation. The Agreement provides Lineage an option to obtain an exclusive license to utilize and sublicense the novel gene-edited cell lines for preclinical, clinical, and commercial purposes in the field of CNS diseases. A feature of the starting cell line is the targeted deletion of the B2M gene, which is designed to reduce the immunogenicity of product candidates derived from the lines by inhibiting rejection by CD8+ T cells. Lineage expects this attribute will expand the edited cell lines’ overall utility, including for non-immune privileged or non-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched indications. Additional planned gene edits may further differentiate the cell line from others currently in use by competitors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The cell therapy expertise demonstrated by Lineage makes them an attractive partner to deploy our mRNA cell engineering platform for the generation of novel gene-edited iPSC lines for neurological applications,” said Matt Angel, Ph.D., CEO of Eterna. “At Eterna, we have expertise in creating gene-edited iPSC lines using our extensively patented mRNA cell engineering technologies. We look forward to collaborating with the Lineage team on this project and working with them to develop these powerful tools for the generation of new, intelligently-engineered cell therapy product candidates in the CNS space.”

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