Licensing Deal

Umoja Biopharma And IASO Biotherapeutics Announce Research Collaboration To Bring Off-the-Shelf Therapies To Patients With Hematological Malignancies

November 22,2022 04:54 AM
- By Admin

Collaboration will bring together Umoja's iCIL platform and IASO's chimeric antigen receptors to create the next generation of broadly accessible, readily available cell therapies in indications that are significantly underserved by today's standards of care.Umoja Biopharma, Inc., an immuno-oncology company pioneering off-the-shelf, integrated therapeutics that reprogram immune cells to treat patients with solid and hematologic malignancies and IASO Biotherapeutics USA("IASO Bio"), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovering, developing, and manufacturing innovative medicines, announced today that they have entered into a research agreement to evaluate Umoja's iCIL platform with IASO's best-in-class CARs. The collaboration will focus on bringing off-the-shelf therapies to patients with hematological malignancies, initially acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a goal of increasing patient accessibility. We believe that developing off-the-shelf therapies using our iCIL platform and IASO's CARs will pave the way to broader patient access to top-line therapies in hematological malignancies," said Andy Scharenberg, M.D., co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Umoja. "As medicine and science have progressed, so have patient outcomes in cancer, but we still have a way to go. Collaborations like this between Umoja and IASO seek to push the next phase of cancer treatment forward." 

Umoja's iPSC-based allogeneic cell therapy platform uses its synthetic receptor enabled differentiation (ShRED) manufacturing process to direct differentiation and expansion of iCILs, a novel class of innate lymphocyte, with potent anti-tumor activity. ShRED generated-iCILs retain functionality in feeder-free culture after 100 days and, as ShRED does not require feeder-cells to induce effector cell expansion, these cells retain their proliferative capacity without the need for multiple complex raw materials.

"We are very pleased to enter a collaboration with Umoja," said Wen (Maxwell) Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of IASO Bio. "The benefit of our fully-human CAR constructs to treat patients with hematologic malignancies have been validated in clinical trials of our broad set of targets and indications. We are excited to develop next generation novel cell therapies by combining our CAR constructs with Umoja's novel ShRED technologies with potentially lower cost."

IASO's strong capability in screening potentially best-in-class CARs utilizing its proprietary fully-human antibody discovery platform (IMARS), a high-throughput CAR screening platform, and executing clinical trials rapidly, as well as its fully in-house GMP facility for plasmid, virus vector, and CAR-T cell manufacturing with over 90% success rate aims to bring its innovative therapies to a broader population globally.

About Umoja's iCIL platform: Induced Cytotoxic Innate Lymphocytes

Umoja's iCIL platform leverages a novel cell manufacturing process to generate synthetic cancer fighting cells from induced pluripotent stem cells at massive scale. These cells, termed induced cytotoxic innate lymphocytes or iCILs, can be administered to patients to augment their endogenous anti-tumor immune function, and to work together with VivoVec-generated in vivo CAR T-cells. Similar to VivoVec-generated CAR T-cells, iCILs can be engineered to leverage our RACR/CAR™ and TumorTag™ platforms respectively to support cell survival and target tumors and their stromal cells, potentially reducing adverse events and prolonging remissions for patients