Century Therapeutics has acquired US-based Clade Therapeutics, which specialises in allogeneic cell therapies, to expand its pipeline of cancer and autoimmune therapies.

For the acquisition, Century will pay an upfront cost of $35m in cash and shares, along with a $10m one-time milestone payment. The company will gain three preclinical allogeneic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell candidates, along with Clade’s αβ iT platform.

Clade’s preclinical pipeline consists of a CD19 targeting αβ iT cell programme, CLDE-308, for treating autoimmune diseases and B-cell malignancies; CLDE-361, a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) αβ iT cell programme for the treatment of myasthenia gravis; and an undisclosed candidate for the treatment of solid tumours.

Concurrent with the acquisition, Century also raised $60m in private placement of its common stock.

The company expects the funding to extend its operating runway into 2026. It also plans to use the funds to support the expansion of the clinical development of its lead candidate, CNTY-101, into additional autoimmune disease indications. Regulatory filings are expected in H2 of this year.

Century is investigating CNTY-101, a CD19-targeting invariant natural killer (iNK) cell therapy, as a treatment for B-cell malignancies and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in two Phase I trials.

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The non-randomised, open-label Phase ELiPSE-1 I trial (NCT05336409) is expected to enrol approximately 75 participants with relapsed or refractory CD19-positive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In December 2023, Century released data from the study showing that CNTY-101 was well tolerated, with one patient achieving a six-month durable complete response with multiple cycles of CNTY-101 without lymphodepletion.  

The dose-finding Phase CALiPSO-1 I study (NCT06255028) of CNTY-101 in moderate to severe SLE is planned for initiation in H1 this year. The preliminary data from the study is expected by the end of this year.

The cell and gene therapy market is forecasted to be worth over $81bn by 2029, as per GlobalData’s sales and forecast database.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

Multiple companies have invested in bolstering their cell and gene therapy pipeline. In December 2023, AstraZeneca signed a $1.2bn deal to acquire China-based Gracell Biotechnologies. Gracell’s lead asset is dual B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and CD19 targeting CAR-T cell therapy, GC01F. The therapy is being investigated in multiple indications, including multiple myeloma and SLE.

Earlier this year, Roche’s Genentech signed a $644m collaboration agreement with biotech GenEdit to use the latter company’s non-viral delivery platform for gene editing therapies against autoimmune diseases.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva

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