Quell Therapeutics and Cellistic™ Enter a Strategic Collaboration to Develop an iPSC-derived Allogeneic T-regulatory (Treg) Cell Therapy Platform
Quell Therapeutics Ltd (“Quell”), a leader in developing engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system, and Cellistic™, the iPSC-focused cell therapy process development & manufacturing partner recently launched by Ncardia to make large-scale allogeneic cell therapy production a reality, announce they have entered into a strategic collaboration for the co-development of an iPSC-derived Treg cell therapy platform. The goal of the partnership is to facilitate the future expansion of Quell’s autologous Treg cell therapy pipeline by adding off-the-shelf, allogeneic Treg cell therapy products, leveraging Cellistic™’s expertise in differentiation and scale-up of iPSC processes for allogeneic cell therapy applications.
Iain McGill, Chief Executive Officer, Quell Therapeutics, said: “Quell has made significant progress advancing the first candidate from our autologous multi-modular Treg cell therapy platform into the clinic, with the initiation of our LIBERATE study of QEL-001 to prevent liver transplant rejection. We believe there is significant opportunity to transform outcomes for patients with QEL-001 and other autologous Treg cell therapy products in our pipeline. Our collaboration with Cellistic™ is a key building block in our investment towards a future, next-generation allogeneic Treg cell platform, which could significantly expand our opportunities to develop novel off-the-shelf treatments across a wide range of diseases driven by immune dysregulation. We highly respect the expertise and experience of Ncardia and the Cellistic™ team, and its track record in developing rapidly scalable iPSC cell therapy processes.”
Stefan Braam, Chief Executive Officer, Cellistic™, said: “Our partnership with Quell is emblematic of why we started Cellistic™ – to bring together our focus and expertise in the development and implementation of iPSC cell therapy platforms with companies like Quell that have an equal depth of expertise in therapeutic development and share our vision for the future of cell therapy. We are excited to collaborate with the Quell team, both to develop the platforms, and to support Quell’s long-term supply needs as they deliver impactful therapeutics to patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Quell and Cellistic™ will collaborate in joint research to develop a process for differentiating iPSCs into highly functional Treg cell therapy products. Quell will contribute its Treg expertise and engineering technologies, as well as characterizing resulting Treg cells, while Cellistic™ will be responsible for the iPSC process science and development activities.
Based on a successful research phase, the collaboration will enter a product development phase with Quell having exclusive rights under the co-developed iPSC-Treg process for the development of multiple allogeneic iPSC-Treg cell therapeutics, and Cellistic™ as the exclusive CDMO partner for Quell’s iPSC-Treg product pipeline, leveraging Cellistic™’s ongoing investment in downstream GMP capabilities.
Tracey Lodie, Chief Scientific Officer, Quell Therapeutics, added: “We have learnt in cell therapy development that the continuity from the R&D phase into the manufacturing phase is a critical success factor in achieving robust, scalable cell product processes. Cellistic™ emerged as a best-in-class and complementary partner to enable our path to an iPSC Treg cell therapy platform, and its ongoing investment in GMP capabilities provides the potential for a long-term partnership to accelerate the future development of allogeneic Treg cell therapies for patients.“