Abzena Announces a Research and Licence Agreement with Tmunity Therapeutics, a T Cell Engineering Company

CAMBRIDGE, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Abzena, plc (AIM: ABZA, Abzena’), the life sciences group providing
services and technologies to enable the development and manufacture of
biopharmaceutical products, has signed an antibody humanisation
agreement with Tmunity Therapeutics (Tmunity), a clinical stage T cell
therapy company and a leader in the development of new Chimeric Antigen
Receptor T Cell (CAR-T) therapies for the treatment of solid and
hematological cancers.

Under the agreement Abzena will humanize monoclonal antibodies using its
Composite Human Antibody™ technology. This technology combines
humanization and deimmunisation technologies to generate fully-humanized
therapeutic antibodies devoid of CD4+ T cell epitopes.

Tmunity will use the humanised antibodies to develop CAR-T engineered
products. CAR-T therapy is an innovative therapeutic form of
personalised medicine in which a patient’s own T-cells are genetically
modified to express an antigen recognizing CAR on the surface of the T
cell. When the CAR-T encounters a cancer cell expressing the cognate
antigen, the CAR-T is activated releasing cytokines that kill the cancer
cell. CAR-T therapies have been successfully developed for the treatment
of hematological cancers, a success that Tmunity is seeking to duplicate
in solid tumors and other hematological malignancies.

The research and license agreement between Abzena and Tmunity also
includes developability assessment to assess for any potential sequence
liabilities that would affect quality of the product and EpiScreen™,
Abzena’s ex-vivo immunogenicity assessment platform.

Under the terms of the licence agreement Abzena will also be due
milestone payments should products containing any of the humanized
antibody sequences reach IND acceptance.

Campbell Bunce, SVP Scientific Operations of Abzena, said:

“We are delighted to be working with such an innovative organisation
as Tmunity, to use our Composite Human Antibody™ platform to help design
superior CARs for their CAR-T products. We believe that reducing the
risk of immunogenicity of the receptor will contribute to a reduced risk
profile for this exciting and potent treatment for cancer.”

“Innovative use of our proprietary technology for an emerging and
revolutionary drug platform like CAR-T, and utilisation of our protein
engineering, immunology and bioanalytics expertise, is a great example
of our ability to provide world-class support to our partners.”

-Ends-

About Abzena

Abzena (AIM: ABZA) provides proprietary technologies and complementary
services to enable the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical
products.

The term ‘ABZENA Inside’ is used by Abzena to describe
products that have been created using its proprietary technologies and
are being developed by its partners, and include Composite Human
Antibodies™ and ThioBridge™ Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs). Abzena has
the potential to earn future licence fees, milestone payments and/or
royalties on ABZENA Inside products.

Abzena offers the following services and technologies across its
principal sites in Cambridge (UK), San Diego, California (USA) and
Bristol, Pennsylvania (USA):

  • Biology research studies, including immunogenicity assessment of
    candidate biopharmaceutical products and bioassay development;
  • Protein engineering to create humanized antibodies and deimmunised
    therapeutic proteins;
  • Cell line development for the manufacture of recombinant proteins and
    antibodies;
  • Contract process development and GMP manufacture of
    biopharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant
    proteins for preclinical and clinical studies;
  • Contract synthetic chemistry and bioconjugation research services,
    focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs);
  • Proprietary site-specific conjugation technologies and novel payloads
    for ADC development;
  • GMP manufacturing of ADC linkers, payloads combined linker-payloads;
    and
  • GMP analytical services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing projects.

For more information, please see www.abzena.com.

About Tmunity Therapeutics

Tmunity is a private, clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on
saving and improving lives by delivering the full potential of
next-generation T cell immunotherapy to patients with devastating
diseases. Integrating a foundational collaboration with the University
of Pennsylvania (Penn) with the groundbreaking scientific, clinical and
manufacturing expertise and demonstrated track record of its founders
(Carl June, MD; Bruce Blazar, MD; Bruce Levine, PhD; Yangbing Zhao, MD,
PhD; Jim Riley, PhD; and Anne Chew, PhD), Tmunity represents a new
center of gravity in translational T cell medicine. The company is
developing a diversified portfolio of novel treatments that exhibit
best-in-class control over T cell activation and direction in the body,
with an initial focus in cancer with two programs currently in the
clinic. With headquarters in Philadelphia, Tmunity utilizes laboratories
and production facilities at Penn and its own dedicated cGMP
manufacturing facility in Norristown, PA, to pursue process improvement
and production scale-up in support of clinical development of its T cell
therapies. For more information, visit www.tmunity.com.

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