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.”