TC BioPharm Ltd (TCB) and Scotia Biologics have formed a strategic collaboration to co-develop novel proprietary tumour-specific antibodies for TCB’s CAR-T platform.
Using Scotia’s unique, proven technology, the two companies will develop a range of cancer-targeting single-chain antibodies, each of which can be formulated to treat a specific type of cancer. Antibodies developed by Scotia will be incorporated into TCB’s therapeutic ImmuniCAR product range.
Based in Aberdeen, Scotia Biologics are an immuno-technology company that specialises in generating and developing antibodies and vaccines for clinical diagnostic and immuno-therapy applications on fee for service basis.
Scotia’s Chief Executive, Keith Charlton commented: “Establishing this partnership with TCB enables Scotia to apply its antibody generation and engineering expertise to the exciting, rapidly growing field of CAR-T technology – promising to deliver new safe therapies for diseases that are difficult to treat with current antibody-based approaches. It also represents a new focus for the Company by investing in longer-term revenue generation.”
TCB’s ImmuniCAR platform is built on unique properties of modified gamma delta (γδ) T cells to selectively target cancer whilst leaving healthy cells untouched. TCB intends to use this novel platform to develop new CAR-T based immunotherapies, with the aim of treating a broad range of cancers and major viral disease.
The collaboration between the two companies opens new therapeutic horizons, providing TCB with invaluable access to novel therapeutic targets previously untreatable using conventional CAR-T technology.
Having previously developed therapeutic antibodies for third-party customers, Scotia has realigned commercial focus into immuno-oncology and treatment of cancer patients with TCB. Providing TC BioPharm with invaluable elements of the CAR-T manufacturing and supply-chain, the multi-million pound deal will provide Scotia Biologics with non-dilutive funds in the form of research funding, milestone payments related to clinical progress and royalties on sales.
TCB’s Chief Operating Officer, Angela Scott commented: “Having built internal infrastructure to produce clinical-grade cell therapies; additional ability to create proprietary therapeutic antibodies combined with in-house lentiviral manufacture gives TCB all the tools to rapidly develop a broad platform of CAR-based treatments against a wide variety of cancer and anti-viral targets.”
TCB and Scotia will initially co-develop single-chain antibodies against GD2, Her2 and PSMA which are expressed in neuroblastoma, breast and prostate cancer respectively. TCB will also explore use of CD4 to target both lymphoblastic leukemia and HIV. This therapeutic approach will provide product development opportunities for the company to either commercialise in-house or collaborate with third-party pharma partners.
TCB’s proprietary ImmuniCAR platform uses the innate ability of gamma-delta T cells to target cancer. This additional tumour-recognition channel combines with the regular CAR channel to create a unique ToxFree CAR-T mechanism, negating damage to healthy tissue inflicted by many current CAR-T products, allowing the Company to develop a wide range of innovative safe therapies to treat a variety of tumour types.
The collaboration is TCB’s first inward partnering deal, representing a strong endorsement of Scotia Biologic’s approach to new antibody generation. Remarking on this significant commercial milestone, Chief Executive Dr Michael Leek iterated that: “The commercial partnership with Scotia Biologics represents strategic acquisition of a key technology in the production of proprietary next-generation, safe CAR-T therapies – by controlling both genetic and cellular aspects of the GMP manufacturing process, TCB can develop multiple products designed to improve patient health and quality of life.”
Chief Business Officer Dr Artin Moussavi added: “The enormous potential of CAR-T to offer life-saving therapies to all cancer patients is currently hampered by safety concerns and strong commercial focus on B cell malignancies alone. This partnership allows us to accelerate development of our CAR-T products for a broader range of novel cancer and infectious disease targets beyond the reach of existing immunotherapies.”