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Cell Medica is signing an R&D agreement with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, a joint program of Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas. The agreement forms the basis of an extensive collaboration effort aimed at commercializing clinically proven cell therapies which have been pioneered by Baylor and which address human diseases for which no current treatment is available.
Consistent with its corporate strategy, Cell Medica will utilize its commercialization experience in the regulatory, reimbursement, and production aspects of cell therapies to ensure that potential life-saving treatments developed by the Center can be introduced for broad clinical use as soon as possible. The safety and efficacy of these new therapies have been developed up to the Phase I-II stage by the Center.
Cell Medica and the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy have identified specific areas of interest involving the use of cell therapies for the treatment of infectious diseases in patients who are profoundly immunosuppressed following bone marrow transplants. The senior researchers at the Center have been instrumental in demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of cell therapies in this patient setting. This approach also has the potential for the treatment of certain hematological malignancies associated with oncogenic viruses.
Professor Cliona M. Rooney, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, said, “The agreement with Cell Medica is consistent with our mission to translate the groundbreaking work done here at the Center into real clinical practice. We look forward to working with a commercial partner that is committed to our same objectives, and together we expect to introduce several new cell therapies for regulatory approval in coming years.”
Mike Ramsay, Head of U.S. Operations for Cell Medica, commented, “The agreement with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy forms an important part of Cell Medica’s strategy to expand its cellular therapeutics business to the U.S. in cooperation with one of the leading research institutions in this field.”
Gregg Sando, CEO of Cell Medica, commented, “The Agreement with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy will lead to co-development of cell therapy products to treat infections in immunosuppressed patients. We will also be working together to explore the use of T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of certain forms of cancer arising from oncogenic viruses. The highly respected team at the Center have been among the world leaders in research in this area for the past two decades, and we are delighted Cell Medica has the opportunity to collaborate in the commercialization of some of the important discoveries they have made.”
Cell Medica’s own lead product, adoptive immunotherapy for cytomegalovirus infections (AIM-CMV), is currently being tested in a Phase III clinical trial across 14 hospitals in the UK.