- EVOTEC LICENSES PANCELLA’S STATE-OF-THE-ART IPSC TECHNOLOGIES IACT STEALTH CELL™ AND FAILSAFE™ FOR USE IN CELL THERAPY
- ACCESS TO PANCELLA’S TECHNOLOGY HAS THE POTENTIAL TO ENABLE SAFE AND OFF-THE-SHELF CELL THERAPY PRODUCTS AND LIFTS EVOTEC’S IPSC-BASED CELL THERAPY PLATFORM (“EVOcells”) TO THE NEXT LEVEL
- EVOTEC TAKES MINORITY SHAREHOLDING IN PANCELLA
Hamburg, Germany, and Toronto, Canada, 02 April 2020:
Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and the innovative biotechnology company panCELLa Inc. announced today that the companies have entered into a licensing and investment agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will receive a non-exclusive licence to access panCELLa’s proprietary iPS cell lines “iACT Stealth Cells™”, which are genetically modified to prevent immune rejection of derived cell therapy products (“cloaking”). Furthermore, Evotec will also have access to a new-generation cloaking technology known as hypoimmunogenic cells. In addition, the “FailSafe™” mechanism effectively addresses a key challenge in iPSC-based cell therapy, potential tumour formation by residual undifferentiated cells.
Using the cell lines, Evotec will be able to develop iPSC-based, off-the-shelf cell therapies with long-lasting efficacy that can be safely administered to a broad population of patients without the use of medication to supress the patients’ immune system. With a growing portfolio of iPSC-based cell therapy projects at Evotec, access to research as well as GMP-grade iPSC lines modified with one or both of the panCELLa technologies significantly accelerates Evotec’s cell therapy discovery and development efforts. Modified iPSC lines will be available for the development of cell therapy approaches across a broad range of indications by Evotec and potential partners. Furthermore, Evotec has made an investment to take a minority stake in panCELLa and has nominated Dr Andreas Scheel to join panCELLa’s supervisory board.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “Cell therapies hold enormous potential as truly regenerative or curative approaches for a broad range of different diseases with significant medical need. Integrating panCELLa’s technology and cell lines into our ongoing proprietary research and development efforts strengthens Evotec’s position in cell therapy. It is our goal to provide safe highly-effective cell therapy products to as many patients as possible. In addition to small molecules and biologics, cell therapy will become yet another major pillar of Evotec’s multimodality discovery and development platform.”
Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD, CEO at panCELLa, added: “We welcome the partnership with Evotec. Evotec’s widely recognised expertise and existing portfolio of iPSC-related technology platforms will allow panCELLa to rapidly advance its own therapeutic interests in NK cell therapy, pancreatic islet production and iPSC-derived MSC platform, in addition to enabling panCELLa to make its platform technologies widely available. I believe that the investment by Evotec in our company is a strong validation of the leading role of panCELLa in the field of regenerative medicine and in the utility of its platform technologies. We welcome Dr Andreas Scheel to our Board.”
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.