Zelluna Immunotherapy, a biopharma company developing T-cell receptor (TCR) guided adoptive cell therapy products for the treatment of multiple solid cancers, and Glycostem Therapeutics BV, a clinical stage and leading Natural Killer (NK) cell manufacturing company, today announce that they have entered into a development, license and supply agreement. This collaboration will focus on the development and manufacture of allogeneic TCR guided NK-cell therapies (TCR-NK’s) for the treatment of patients with cancer.
“This partnership between Zelluna and Glycostem represents a critical milestone in Zelluna’saim to transform cell therapy treatments by enabling more patients to be treated effectively, rapidly and safely. It is the industry’s first commercial development partnership of TCR-NK cells for treating cancer aiming at the rapid translation of our proprietary TCR-NK approach,” said Miguel Forte, CEO, Zelluna. “Zelluna selected Glycostem as a partner for the delivery of TCR-NK therapies for their expertise in NK-cell science, GMP manufacturing and clinical testing of NK-cell products. The development of TCR-NK programs will run in parallel to Zelluna’s autologous TCR-T development programs, including its lead autologous T-cell product entering the clinic next year. Zelluna’s vision of cell therapies continues to be autologous and allogeneic products delivering much needed patient benefit.”
Currently, NK-cell based therapies such as CAR-NK’s are receiving considerable interest from the wider cell therapy community. Through the partnership with Glycostem, Zelluna is enabling its proprietary TCR-NK approach with the potential to target a broader repertoire of tumor associated antigens by targeting NK-cells with TCRs for treatment of patients with solid cancers.
Zelluna will lead the development and commercialization of TCR-NK products with its TCRs and TCR development competence. Glycostem will contribute by manufacturing clinical grade umbilical cord derived NK-cells, NK-cell expertise, product process development, and clinical and commercial supply. Zelluna and Glycostem will be able to manufacture upfront a large number of patient doses to store and ship to clinical sites upon demand in an “off-the-shelf” manner.
“We are very proud to be collaborating with Zelluna, a transformative TCR cell therapy company to jointly develop allogeneic TCR-NK products for the benefit of hard to treat patients. This partnership will enable Glycostem’s NK-cells to deliver increased efficacy against solid tumors in a TCR-NK product using Zelluna’s TCR targeting mechanism,” said Troels Jordansen, CEO, Glycostem. “This is further confirmation of the significant interest in NK-cell products and an external validation of Glycostem’s abilities which supports our commercial and scientific ambitions; taking cellular immunotherapy to the next level.”