Lentigen Technology Inc., a Miltenyi Biotec Company, Acquires University of Maryland, Baltimore CAR-T Cell Start-Up, Living Pharma, Inc.
- Lentigen Technology Inc., a leading provider of GMP lentiviral vectors, will further advance Living Pharma’s personalized chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies targeting various cancers
- Co-founded by an award-winning University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), immunotherapy researcher, Living Pharma is the first UMB New Ventures Initiative start-up to execute a successful exit
GAITHERSBURG, Md. and BALTIMORE, July 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Lentigen Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, announced today its acquisition of immunotherapy start-up Living Pharma, Inc. Eduardo Davila, PhD, Living Pharma Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, who is also a faculty member of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), along with Koji Tamada, MD, PhD, UMSOM, invented Living Pharma’s anti-tag-chimeric antigen receptor (AT-CAR™) technology.
Current CAR-T cell therapies detect only a single tumor-associated antigen, thus requiring multiple CAR-T products for treating an individual’s cancer. Living Pharma’s solution, AT-CAR, recognizes a specific “tag” that is part of a tumor-targeting molecule. By adding or withdrawing the tumor-targeting molecule, CAR activity can be regulated. For example, CAR activity could be removed once the therapy has had its anti-tumor effect. The Living Pharma technology also endows a single AT-CAR T-cell product with the adaptability to target and destroy multiple cancer types and the potential to sequentially or simultaneously target a panel of tumor antigens.
“The intellectual property behind AT-CAR technology is fundamental for the development of universal CAR-T cell therapeutics that couple a universal AT-CAR with tumor-targeting molecules, like an antibody, in the body. The potential of this technology is substantial and it could take CAR-T cell therapeutics to the next level,” said Boro Dropulić, Lentigen’s Chief Science Officer and General Manager. “Furthermore, with our operations in Gaithersburg, Maryland, it’s ideal for us to propel forward a technology developed right in our backyard and coming out of one of the State’s top institutions – the University of Maryland School of Medicine.”
“Leveraging the capabilities and resources of Lentigen and Miltenyi Biotec with Living Pharma’s universal CAR-T cell technology is a win-win for our companies and for individuals living with hard-to-treat cancers,” said Ronald P. Dudek, President and Co-Founder of Living Pharma, and former VP Commercial Strategy at Juno Therapeutics, Inc. “I look forward to joining the Lentigen and Miltenyi Biotec team to further develop the AT-CAR technology and to advance products for personalized cancer therapy into the clinic.”
Phil Robilotto, DO, UMB’s Assistant Vice President for Technology Transfer and board representative for Living Pharma, added, “We are very excited by this acquisition as it enables the AT-CAR technology to receive benefits from both a global leader in Miltenyi and a growing local collaborator in Lentigen – while also further validating the University’s New Venture Initiative model, in general.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Lentigen Technology, Inc.
Lentigen Technology, Inc. (LTI; Gaithersburg, MD, US) a leader in the design, construction and manufacture of lentiviral vectors for clinical application, is a subsidiary of Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, a pioneer in developing innovative workflows, tools, and technologies for clinical cell and gene therapy applications. Miltenyi Biotec is dedicated to support customers to move from translational research into the clinic, and towards commercialization with its comprehensive portfolio of high quality, GMP compliant, state-of-the-art platforms, and technologies. Miltenyi’s GMP manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Germany meet both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) requirements for current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). For more information about Miltenyi Biotec or Lentigen, please visit http://www.miltenyibiotec.com or www.lentigen.com.
About Living Pharma, Inc.
Living Pharma develops Personalized CAR T Cell Therapy™. The company’s versatile Anti-Tag Chimeric Antigen Receptor (AT-CAR™) T cells can be tailored to the individual patient’s cancer and disease phenotype to enable immuno-oncology products optimized for each individual patient. The company is headquartered in Baltimore, MD, USA.
Living Pharma Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Eduardo Davila, PhD, associate professor, microbiology and immunology, UMSOM, and co-leader of the UM Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program, along with Koji Tamada, MD, PhD, adjunct associate professor, otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery, UMSOM, invented Living Pharma’s anti-tag-chimeric antigen receptor (AT-CAR™) technology.
For more information, visit https://www.livingpharma.com.