Novartis has announced that it has entered into an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration agreement with Regenerex LLC, a biopharmaceutical company based in Louisville, Kentucky, for use of the company’s novel Facilitating Cell Therapy (FCRx) platform.
The haematopoietic stem cell-based FCRx platform has been investigated in kidney transplantation to induce stable immunological tolerance, resulting in graft survival without the need for lifelong immunosuppression.
This collaboration reaffirms the Novartis commitment to transplant. Beyond transplant, Regenerex’s novel platform potentially has curative potential for multiple underserved diseases and will be investigated in the rescue of serious genetic deficiencies such as inherited metabolic storage disorders and haemoglobinopathies.
“As the field of biomedicine sits on the cusp of a new transformation, we are excited to announce this agreement which supports the Novartis leadership position in cell therapy,” said Dr. Timothy Wright, Global Head Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “Thirty years ago, Novartis developed ciclosporin, which changed transplantation treatment paradigms and enabled countless lives to be saved. Now, this collaboration, along with our internal cell therapy assets, has the potential to transform medicine once again through innovation.”
FCRx will broaden the current Novartis cell therapy portfolio, which includes two novel cell therapy platforms initially being investigated in haematological malignancies. HSC835 is a novel cell therapy approach that enables an expanded single umbilical cord blood derived hematopoietic stem cell transplant in patients with limited treatment options. HSC835 is currently in a Phase II trial in patients with high-risk haematological malignancies. A second cell therapy product, CTL019 is a chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy currently in Phase II development in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).