Expects to receive between £2.5m and £4m over next 12 months
Oxford BioMedica, a UK-based gene-based biopharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement with Novartis to manufacture clinical grade material using Oxford BioMedica’s LentiVector gene delivery technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Oxford BioMedica will also provide certain process development services and expects to receive between £2.5m and £4m from Novartis over the next 12 months.
The deal not only validates Oxford Biomedica’s expertise in lentivirus technology, but is also the first to use the firm’s recently completed GMP manufacturing facility in Oxford for third-party production of gene therapy material.
Oxford BioMedica will manufacture several batches of a lentiviral vector used to deliver Novartis’ CTL019 technology. Novartis recently licensed this experimental immunotherapy programme from the University of Pennsylvania. It is currently in Phase I/II trials to treat various B cell cancers and uses patients’ own T cells, which are removed and engineered using the LentiVector technology to recognise cancerous B cells more effectively. The cells are then re-infused into patients, where they attack the cancer.
John Dawson, Chief Executive of Oxford BioMedica, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with Novartis to support a key immunotherapy programme. The strategic investment in our specialist manufacturing capabilities is a pivotal step towards building a financially self-sustaining business and this collaboration is an example of how we can commercialise our expertise.’