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EdiGene and Neukio Enter Collaboration to Develop Next-Generation Immune Cell Therapies

February 9, 2022

One day after entering into a licensing agreement with Arbor Biotechnologies’ CRISPR gene editing technology for certain ex vivo engineered cell therapy programs in the field of oncology, Chinese gene-editing biotech EdiGene signed a research and development collaboration with Neukio Biotherapeutics to develop next-generation immune cell therapies.

Photo: Richard Wang, founder, chairman and CEO of Neukio

Neukio, also based in China, was established in June 2021 to focus on the development and commercialization of allogenic cell therapies from the iPSC-CAR-NK axis.

The collaboration will leverage EdiGene’s expertise in high-throughput genome editing screening and Neukio’s strength in the development and manufacturing of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and natural killer cells (NK Cells).

“Our proprietary, high-throughput genome-editing screening platform enables genome-wide exploration of key genes in the growth and differentiation of specific cells, promotes the establishment of causality between genetic variation and therapeutic development, and has unique advantages in mechanism exploration, target screening and translation,” said Dong Wei, CEO of EdiGene. “By leveraging our expertise in the application and translation of gene editing technologies, we are able to facilitate the development of innovative iPSC-NK immune cell therapies to bring more treatment options to patients.”

Under their agreement, Neukio will develop cell therapies in certain undisclosed indications and pay EdiGene milestone payments for clinical development upon its clinical progress, and royalties after its commercialization.

“The first autologous CAR-T cell therapy was launched in China in 2021, providing hope to cancer patients that they will be able to benefit from the next generation of cell therapies as soon as possible. Our collaboration with EdiGene will explore new therapeutic mechanisms and targets, so that our NK cells can be used for allogenic therapies to treat solid tumors, which is beneficial for our intellectual property systems and for patients’ accessibility,” said Richard Wang, founder, chairman and CEO of Neukio. “This new screening method supplements known targets, laying a solid foundation for Neukio’s pipeline and sustainable development.”

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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