The licensed technology can increase global access to gene therapy
through lower costs and shortened regulatory timelines
TUCSON, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Calimmune Inc., a clinical-stage gene therapy company, has expanded its
intellectual property estate covering Cytegrity™, an innovative
lentiviral vector manufacturing technology, through a second licensing
agreement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Financial terms of
the deal were not disclosed.
Calimmune and St. Jude have collaborated on vector manufacturing
technology since December 2013.
Under the expanded agreement, Calimmune is granted an exclusive,
worldwide license to develop and commercialize product candidates using
a second stable packaging cell line that produces lentiviral vectors.
The technology will be part of Calimmune’s proprietary Cytegrity
lentiviral vector bioproduction process, which improves scalability and
affordability of gene therapy, and could result in as much as a 90
percent decrease in the cost of current methods for vector production.
In an aligned effort to improve access to gene therapy globally,
Calimmune and St. Jude have agreed that no royalties should be due from
the sale of licensed products in developing-world countries if those
products are sold at minimal or no profit. In addition, Calimmune aims
to make this technology broadly available to companies developing
lentivector-based gene therapies through commercial license.
“This partnership is a significant piece of the larger mission that
brings us one step closer toward democratizing gene therapy,” said Louis
Breton, chief executive officer of Calimmune. “Together with St. Jude,
we are developing solutions that will make gene therapy accessible and
affordable to all who might benefit.”
Cytegrity is a scalable manufacturing technology for the production of
lentiviral vectors, which are used as a delivery mechanism for gene
therapy. Lentiviral vectors are traditionally manufactured in small
batches through a tedious process; Cytegrity introduces a new system
that increases consistency and quality, while significantly lowering
costs. By streamlining the production of lentiviral vectors, Calimmune
seeks to enable clinically successful gene therapies to be more widely
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world
understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other
life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer
Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to
children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall
childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the
hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the
breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors
and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more
children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment,
travel, housing and food—because all a family should worry about is
helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org
or follow St. Jude at @stjuderesearch.
Calimmune Inc. is a clinical-stage, international biotechnology company
focused on developing novel gene therapies that have the potential to
improve and protect the lives of patients by enhancing their immune
system. The company was founded in 2006 from technology developed in the
labs of Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, Ph.D. (California Institute of
Technology), Irvin Chen, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles)
and Inder M. Verma, Ph.D. (Salk Institute for Biological Studies).
Calimmune’s lead product candidate for HIV, now in Phase I/II studies,
is being evaluated as a one-time treatment to prevent HIV progression to
AIDS. The company is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with labs and
branch offices in Pasadena, California, and Sydney, Australia.
Casey Sankey, 310-806-6240 x105
Mark Corbae, 619-849-5375
Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Frannie Marmorstein, 901-595-0221
Media Relations Specialist