DUBLIN and TAMPA, Florida, — Avectas, a cell engineering technology business and Vycellix, Inc. an immuno-discovery cell & gene therapy company, today announced that the companies have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop proprietary approaches for cell-based immunotherapeutic products.

The companies will collaborate on the delivery of Vycellix’s novel RNA immunomodulator VY-M using Avectas’ cell engineering platform, Solupore. The collaboration will address current limitations for cell-based therapies, in particular with respect to the need to accelerate the manufacturing process, reduce the cost of manufacture, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

“We are delighted to partner with Vycellix and join forces in the development of novel cell-based products,” says Michael Maguire, PhD, CEO of Avectas. “We believe Solupore® will play a critical role in the manufacture of cell-based therapies and will support a path towards effective patient outcomes.”

According to Vycellix’s President, Douglas Calder, “Solupore represents a new paradigm for delivery of transgenes, and our initial studies will evaluate Solupore to deliver our new product candidate, VY-M, to T cells and NK cells. We expect to accelerate the expansion-time of T cells and NK cells by decreasing the non-dividing lag time, resulting in much shorter “vein-to-vein” delivery-time to patients.” The studies will be conducted at Avectas’ Dublin-based facility and at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Both Avectas and Vycellix are collaborative partners within NextGenNK, a newly established competence center for development of next-generation NK cell-based cancer immunotherapies based at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. It is envisioned that Avectas and Vycellix will further expand their collaboration within the NextGenNK constellation.

“We are excited to see the NextGenNK competence center catalysing interactions among its industrial partners to advance NK cell-based immunotherapies,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, MD PhD, Director of the NextGenNK competence center. “The present collaboration may pave the way for similar collaborations among NextGenNK partners.”

In February 2020, Avectas announced that it had entered an agreement with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) based in Toronto, Canada to accelerate the translation of Avectas’ non-viral cell engineering platform (Solupore) into the clinic.

About Avectas:
Avectas is a cell engineering technology business developing a unique delivery platform to enable the ex-vivo manufacture of our partners’ gene-modified cell therapy products, which will retain high in-vivo functionality. Our vision is to be a leading non-viral cell engineering technology provider, integrated into manufacturing processes for multiple autologous and allogeneic therapies, commercialized through development and license agreements. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.avectas.com

About Vycellix:
Vycellix, Inc. is a private, immuno-discovery, life science company at the forefront of innovation in the development of cell & gene-based therapies targeting indications in, but not limited to, hematology/oncology, autoimmunity/chronic inflammatory diseases, and organ/tissue transplantation.

The Company’s platforms were all initially discovered by scientists at the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden. KI is globally recognized for its Nobel Assembly, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.vycellix.com

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