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Matica Biotechnology, Inc. Announces Master Research Agreement with Texas A&M

Matica Biotechnology, Inc. (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in the clinical and commercial production of cell and gene therapies, today announced the signing of a master research agreement with the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) at Texas A&M University Health Science Center (TAMHSC). The agreement covers joint research and development projects for plasmid, protein and viral vector products in compliance with FDA regulations.

“Texas A&M University is internationally renowned for its research programs developing novel vaccines and therapies to improve public health,” stated Dr. Byung Se So, CEO of Matica Bio. “Matica Bio is excited to partner with the TAMHSC CIADM staff as we strive to innovate manufacturing solutions for our clients’ novel cell and gene therapy products. With GMP operations and laboratories of both organizations co-located in College Station, working together seemed like a natural fit to fully realize our clients’ success.”

Dr. William Jay Treat, Principle Investigator for the CIADM at TAMHSC noted, “The CIADM’s objectives include facilitating rapid R&D and promoting novel product development of vaccines and therapies. Matica Bio’s clients are at the forefront of advanced therapy development, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate through research studies to bring these potentially lifesaving medicines to patients.”

Utilizing platform technologies and systems designed for the rapid transfer of production processes from pilot development into GMP manufacturing, Matica Bio is addressing its clients’ acute need for fast, reliable and innovative scale-up of viral vector manufacture to keep pace with the accelerated clinical development timeframes often associated with many breakthrough therapies.

Matica Bio’s Texas facility is scheduled to open in Q3 2021 utilizing a bioreactor-based platform for the production of Lentivirus and AAV vectors. Matica Bio’s development and operations staff average over 10 years in the viral vector CDMO industry, bringing a wealth of knowledge and operational experience together to drive its clients’ product development success.

(Source: PRNewswire, 2021)


ISA Pharmaceuticals selects product candidate for clinical trial with first in class COVID-19 immunotherapy

ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company that develops therapeutics for oncology and infectious diseases, announces that it has completed pre-clinical work for ISA106, a novel COVID-19 immunotherapy and is planning clinical trials. A phase 1 dose finding study in healthy volunteers will start in the next few months.

ISA106 is an immunotherapy agent that is intended to treat patients with SARS-CoV2 infections, and prevent progressive pneumonia and further complications – thereby avoiding admission to hospital and ICU. It is designed to elicit a robust T cell immune response specifically against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. T cells are very effective at eradicating viruses. The mechanism of action of ISA106 is different from prophylactic vaccines, as the latter are designed to prevent infection but can not be used to treat individuals with established infections. Boosting the T cell response against SARS-CoV2 in an infected individual at the right time is expected to shorten the infection period, and prevent serious disease. T cells generated by ISA106 target multiple viral proteins that include the currently known new variants.

Safe, specific and effective therapies to treat COVID-19 are desperately needed, in addition to the current preventive vaccination efforts. The emergence of more infectious variant strains of the virus, ”vaccination hesitancy” in the population, and the variable duration of protection of current vaccines create a distinct need for a therapy to serve as a safety net for infected individuals. New virus variants that escape current prophylactic vaccines are likely to emerge in response to pressure from these vaccines. Research also shows that traditional prophylactic vaccines are not as effective in individuals with a less competent immune system such as the elderly, patients with cancer and auto-immune diseases, organ transplant recipients, and other immune-compromised patients.

(Source: PRNewswire, 2021)


Wugen Announces Exclusive License Agreement With HCW Biologics For Cell Therapies to Treat Cancer

Wugen Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel, universal allogeneic cell therapy platforms, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with US-based HCW Biologics Inc. (HCW) for the use of their proprietary fusion molecules to manufacture Wugen’s cellular therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. HCW will oversee the manufacturing and supply of these proteins to Wugen. Wugen will research, develop, and commercialize cell therapeutic products on a world-wide basis.

“Through this agreement and collaboration with HCW Biologics, a transformative immunotherapy company, we will advance and expand Wugen’s development of innovative, game-changing, off-the-shelf NK and T cell therapies for a wide range of cancers,” said John McKearn, Ph.D., CEO of Wugen. “This collaboration will allow us to reach more patients with our unique and effective treatment approaches, aiming to improve their quality and quantity of life.”

Hing Wong, Ph.D., CEO of HCW Biologics notes “HCW has developed first-in-kind immunotherapeutics using its proprietary platform technology to enhance and support cell-based therapies against cancer. We are thrilled to have Wugen incorporate our products into their leading portfolio of innovative cellular therapies, advancing us into this emergent field. This partnership leverages Wugen’s expertise in cellular therapy and HCW’s expertise in protein fusion immunotherapies, enabling HCW to focus on accelerating lead product candidates for inflamm-aging.”

CAR-T and NK cells have shown remarkable activity in the clinic in the treatment of cancer, but significant challenges remain with regard to generating sufficient numbers of highly active, robust immune cells. The patented molecules generated by HCW Biologics allow for the robust activation and expansion of immune cells to significantly lower the cost of goods, enabling greater patient access to these important cellular therapies.

(Source: PRNewswire, 2021)