Leucid Bio chooses Lonza automated personalised CAR T-Cells platform

7-Dec-2021

Leucid will utilise Lonza as its preferred manufacturer, aiming to deliver high quality cell therapies quickly and cost-effectively to patients in a decentralised manufacturing model

Leucid Bio, a biotech company pioneering next-generation cell therapies for hard-to-treat cancers, has entered a strategic collaboration with Lonza to utilise Lonza's Cocoon Platform for the company's forthcoming Phase I clinical trial, through to commercial manufacturing.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Leucid will utilise Lonza as its preferred manufacturer, aiming to deliver high quality cell therapies quickly and cost-effectively to patients in a decentralised manufacturing model. Leucid is, in turn, one of Lonza's preferred collaborators on the Cocoon Platform, and both companies will work together to optimise and streamline the manufacturing process for Leucid's CAR-T therapies.

As a preferred collaborator, Leucid will have early access to new Cocoon Platform technologies.

As a preferred collaborator, Leucid will have early access to new Cocoon Platform technologies

Founded to translate 20 years of pioneering CAR-T research led by Dr John Maher at King's College London, Leucid has developed a proprietary engine that builds upon Dr Maher's novel parallel CAR-T model which positions these molecules in a more natural biological configuration. The company's technology confers properties on the CART-cells that enable them to consistently outperform previous generations of CAR-T therapies in pre-clinical studies. As a result, this leads to enhanced T-cell potency and persistent long-term response with reduced toxicity.

The Cocoon Platform is a closed, automated system for patient-scale cell therapy manufacturing. Highly customisable and scalable, it integrates multiple steps and streamlines cell processing workflows from patient sample to final product. Protocols including isolation, activation, transduction/transfection, expansion and harvest occur in a climate controlled, validated cell manufacturing system.

The technology confers properties on the CART-cells that enable them to consistently outperform previous generations of CAR-T therapies in pre-clinical studies

Artin Moussavi, CEO of Leucid Bio, said: "Following on from our successful Series A financing, we are delighted to be working with Lonza and its Cocoon Platform. This agreement will allow us to accelerate our path to the clinic, treating more patients sooner, potentially at point-of-care, and help to solve the key issues facing CAR-T therapeutics."

John Maher, Chief Scientific Officer of Leucid Bio, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Lonza, enabling us to develop a state-of-the-art scalable manufacturing process. This will significantly help Leucid to efficiently transition our CAR-T pipeline for maximum patient benefit."

Nicholas Ostrout, Head of Commercial Development within Personalized Medicine at Lonza, commented: "We look forward to working with Leucid to bring its revolutionary, novel cancer immunotherapies to the clinic and patients. Use of the Cocoon Platform, coupled with the array of process development, manufacturing expertise and tools that Lonza brings, will provide a smooth route to commercial approval. By leveraging the Cocoon Platform's unique capabilities, this collaboration aims to illustrate the promise and feasibility of manufacturing autologous immunotherapies in a decentralised model, into approved routine use."

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CAR T-cell therapy is a revolutionary technology in which the patient's own immune cells are reprogrammed so they can recognise and destroy cancer cells. This has proven to be a powerful therapy for refractory blood cancers, but has not yet been very effective for the treatment of solid tumours.

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Leucid's LEU-011 programme is a NKG2D-targeted CAR T-cell therapy in pre-clinical development for the treatment of solid tumours and haematological malignancies. The NKG2D receptor is an activating immune receptor that triggers cell death upon recognition of human NKG2D ligands expressed on transformed, infected or damaged cells. LEU-011 has potential for the treatment of multiple cancer types as NKG2D ligands are expressed on more than 80% of human tumour cells.

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