Oxford Biomedica, a leading UK-based cell and gene therapy developer and PhoreMost, a UK-based biopharmaceutical company, announced that they entered a collaboration for research and development of next–generation CAR-T cell therapies. As part of the research agreement, PhoreMost will deploy its proprietary SITESEEKER® platform to identify potential therapeutic candidates for Oxford Biomedica’s LentiVector® gene therapy delivery system. The financial details on the transaction were not disclosed.
Oxford’s LentiVector® platform has delivered the world’s first approved CAR-T cell therapy Kymriah, by Novartis. Oxford Biomedica, last year, extended its commercial supply agreement with Novartis for the manufacturing of lentiviral vectors. Oxford’s team is now looking to develop more CAR-T cell therapies and the collaboration with PhoreMost will assist them in identifying novel disease targets. The SITESEEKER® platform leverages the inherent biological shape of proteins to discover new protein targets for the delivery of therapeutic agents. The biological shape information is quickly translated into chemical protein structure and can rapidly yield first-in-class drug targets. Phoremost has forged many collaborations with companies including Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Plexxions, Otsuka, etc. to offer its SITESEEKER platform for the development of drugs in oncology, central nervous system, immunology, respiratory diseases, etc. PhoreMost and Oxford Biomedica have brought together their complementary strengths to identify disease targets and deliver effective CAR-T cells to the target as a one-time remedy.
The cell and gene therapy space has been advancing speedily, with evolving scientific intricacies and corporate engagements, giving confidence to discoverers, largely startups. These companies are working on upstream innovations and are diving deep into R&D of areas with high unmet needs. Oxford Biomedica, too has a string of partnered cell therapy programs with multiple companies, reinstating the trend of more companies externalising research programs to de-risk early efforts in R&D.