Glycostem partners with Zelluna Immunotherapy

19th November, 2019 - Zelluna Immunotherapy, a biopharma company developing T-cell receptor (TCR) guided adoptive cell therapy products for the treatment  of  multiple  solid  cancers, and Glycostem Therapeutics BV,  a  clinical  stage  and leading Natural Killer (NK) cell manufacturing company, today announce that they have entered  into  a  development,  license  and supply  agreement.  This  collaboration  will  focus  on  the development and manufacture of allogeneic TCR guided NK cell therapies (TCR-NK’s) for the treatment of patients with cancer.

“This partnership between Zelluna and Glycostem represents a critical milestone in Zelluna’saim to transform cell therapy treatments by enabling more patients to be treated effectively, rapidly and safely. It is the industry’s first commercial  development  partnership of TCR-NK cells for treating cancer aiming at the rapid translation of our proprietary TCR-NK approach,” said Miguel Forte, CEO, Zelluna. “Zelluna selected Glycostem as a partner for the delivery of TCR-NK therapies  for  their  expertise  in  NK cell  science,  GMP  manufacturing  and  clinical  testing  of  NK cell products.  The  development of  TCR-NK  programs  will run  in  parallel  to  Zelluna’s autologous TCR-T  development  programs,  including  its  lead autologous  T-cell product  entering  the  clinic  next  year.  Zelluna’s  vision  of  cell  therapies  continues  to  be  autologous and allogeneic products delivering much needed patient benefit.”

Currently, NK cell based therapies such as CAR-NK’s are receiving considerable interest from the  wider  cell  therapy  community.  Through  the  partnership  with  Glycostem,  Zelluna  is  enabling its proprietary TCR-NK approach with the potential to target a broader repertoire of tumor associated antigens by targeting NK cells with TCRs for treatment of patients with solid cancers. 

Zelluna will lead the development and commercialization of TCR-NK products with its TCRs and TCR development competence. Glycostem will contribute by manufacturing clinical grade umbilical cord derived NK cells, NK cell expertise, product process development, and clinical and  commercial  supply.  Zelluna  and  Glycostem  will  be  able  to  manufacture  upfront  a  large  number  of  patient  doses  to  store  and  ship  to  clinical  sites  upon  demand  in  an  “off-the-shelf” manner. 

“We  are  very  proud  to  be  collaborating  with  Zelluna,  a  transformative  TCR  cell  therapy  company  to  jointly  develop  allogeneic  TCR-NK  products  for  the  benefit  of  hard  to  treat  patients.  This  partnership  will  enable  Glycostem’s  NK cells  to  deliver  increased  efficacy against  solid  tumors  in  a  TCR-NK  product  using  Zelluna’s  TCR  targeting  mechanism,”  said  Troels Jordansen, CEO, Glycostem. “This is further confirmation of the significant interest in NK cell  products  and  an  external validation  of  Glycostem’s  abilities  which  supports  our  commercial and scientific ambitions; taking cellular immunotherapy to the next level.”