PPF Expands its Investment in the Healthcare Sector Through Acquisition of Significant Stake in T Cell Therapy Company Autolus Therapeutics
- Investment provides 19.2% stake in Autolus
- Autolus is PPF’s second largest investment in the healthcare sector, after PPF’s majority-owned biotechnology company SOTIO
PRAGUE, Czech Republic, September 16, 2019 / B3C newswire / -- PPF today announces the acquisition of a 19.2% stake in Autolus Therapeutics plc, a leader in next-generation T cell programming technologies. The shares were acquired in the market through NASDAQ.
Autolus Therapeutics plc (“Autolus”) is a leader in T cell programming technologies and is developing a pipeline of next generation T cell therapies targeting both hematological cancers and solid tumors. Focused on the development of precisely targeted, controlled and highly active CAR-T cell products, Autolus aims to provide T cell therapies with very favorable safety profile and enhanced clinical efficacy to better recognize cancer cells, break down their defense mechanisms, and attack and kill these cells. The lead program AUTO1 is expected to enter a pivotal phase II study in patients with adult relapsed or refractory acute B lymphocytic leukemia (“adult ALL”) later this year with an anticipated filing for marketing authorization in 2021.
With the investment into Autolus, PPF Group N.V. (“PPF”) significantly increased its commitment to the healthcare sector. Next to Autolus, PPF’s majority-owned biotechnology company SOTIO a.s. (“SOTIO”) is aiming to become a fully-integrated oncology specialty pharma company. Together with SOTIO, PPF have built a biotechnology portfolio through in-house research and development, investments, acquisitions and in licensing of products with companies like NBE-Therapeutics, Cellestia Biotech, Cytune Pharma or Lead Discovery Center. SOTIO is developing its proprietary dendritic cell-based cell therapy platform DCVAC and has a significant manufacturing and regulatory expertise in the domain of cellular therapies. SOTIO also recently initiated a Phase I/Ib clinical trial with its interleukin-15 superagonist SO-C101.
“We are very excited by our investment into Autolus. The data published by Autolus on their CAR-T programs is very promising and their long-term ambitions are a perfect match with PPF’s strategy in healthcare,” said Ladislav Bartonicek, shareholder of PPF responsible for the biotechnology sector. “Our investment in Autolus confirms the long term commitment of PPF and SOTIO to build a strong biotechnology portfolio developing a broad range of its own oncology products and investing in various biotech companies with promising new therapies.”
PPF invests in multiple market segments such as banking and financial services, telecommunications, real estate, mechanical engineering, biotechnology, and insurance. PPF Group’s reach spans from Europe to the USA and across Asia, owning assets worth over EUR 45 billion (as at 31 December 2018).
As at 31 December 2018, PPF Group employed 158,000 people globally, while its companies based in the Czech Republic employed almost 14,000.
SOTIO is an international biotechnology company leading the efforts of PPF Group to build a diverse biotechnology portfolio through its own research & development, collaborations, in-licensing, investments, mergers and acquisitions. The company is developing new medical therapies, focusing on the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The most advanced project is the SOTIO proprietary platform of active cellular immunotherapy (ACI) based on dendritic cells. SOTIO is conducting multiple Phase I to Phase III clinical trials verifying the safety and efficacy of its DCVAC products. SOTIO is also collaborating with NBE-Therapeutics on the development of novel antibody-drug conjugate products (ADC), with Cytune Pharma on developing novel IL15-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and with LDC and the Max Planck Society on an oncology program addressing a novel target in tumor metabolism. SOTIO has facilities in Europe, the United States, China and Russia. SOTIO is a registered trademark of SOTIO a.s. in selected countries.
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