Servier and Transgene, a biotechnology company that designs and develops immunotherapies based on viral vectors, announced the signature of a research agreement on the application of viral vectorization technology for the production of allogenic CAR-T cell therapies. The aim is to obtain more efficient products for patients.
“Allogenic cell therapies using CAR-T open a major field of innovation in the treatment of cancer,” stated Patrick Therasse, Oncology Research and Development director at Servier. “However, each of the steps in their complex manufacturing process requires specific development and optimization efforts, in order to provide patients with the best possible therapeutic options. And we look for the best partners to move these products forward."
The aim of the collaboration between the scientific teams at both Servier and Transgene is to evaluate and select innovative vectorization methods based on Transgene’s viral vector collection, which may be applied to the engineering of CAR-T cell therapies. In addition to the development of simpler, faster and more effective methods, the aim is also to obtain a tighter control of the modified genome areas. Servier and Transgene thus aim to achieve an original allogenic CAR-T preparation method with better transgene integration yields and fewer steps.
Servier has been engaged in the development of cell therapies since November 2015.
Transgene has a large collection of viral vectors and is renowned for its competence in the genome engineering of these vectors. These assets will be used to develop new vectorization tools that will allow us to increase the possibility of fine and precise modification of the genome of CART cells, in order to adapt these cells’ properties to the tumor environment and improve the therapeutic efficacy.
Eric Quéméneur, Scientific Director of Transgene, explained: “We are proud of the recognition of our vectorization know-how and of our capacity for innovation by a pharmaceutical company of importance such as Servier. We will enthusiastically contribute to the development of CAR-T, these new promising products in cancer immunotherapy. Thanks to this collaboration, Transgene broadens the domain of the application of viral vectors from its technological platform."
“Cellectis is pleased about Servier and Transgene’s collaboration on allogenic CAR-T cell therapies, stated André Choulika, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cellectis. “Transgene stands among the most advanced companies in the world in the development of vector technologies. We are convinced that this collaboration will result in a next generation of UCART19 that will confirm the initial results of this product candidate, but also, will lead to ways to optimize production, costs, and potentially explore its use in other leukemia indications.”
Transgene may receive more than 30 million Euro for this contract, with an initial duration of three years. As for Servier, it will be able to use these new vectors to develop its cell immunotherapy portfolio.