Bone Therapeutics and Rigenerand sign partnership for cell therapy process development
Gosselies, Belgium and Modena, Italy, 14 January 2021, 7am CET – BONE THERAPEUTICS (Euronext Brussels and Paris: BOTHE), the cell therapy company addressing unmet medical needs in orthopedics and other diseases, and Rigenerand SRL, the biotech company that both develops and manufactures medicinal products for cell therapy applications, primarily for regenerative medicine and oncology, today announce the signing of a first agreement for a process development partnership.
“Allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies are currently being developed at an incredible pace and are evaluated in numerous clinical studies covering diverse therapeutic areas such as bone and cartilage conditions, liver, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases in which MSCs could have a significant positive effect. Advances in process development to scale up these therapies could have major impacts for both their approval and commercial viability. This will be essential to bring these therapies to market to benefit patients as quickly as possible,” said Miguel Forte, CEO, Bone Therapeutics. “Hence, whilst Bone Therapeutics is driving on its existing clinical development programs, we have signed a first formal agreement with Rigenerand as a fellow MSC-based organization. This will result in both companies sharing extensive expertise in the process development and manufacturing of MSCs and cell and gene therapy medicinal products. Bone Therapeutics also selected Rigenerand to partner with for their additional experience with wider process development of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), including the conditioning and editing of MSCs. Rigenerand was founded by Massimo Dominici, a world opinion leader in the cell therapy with an unparalleled MSC expertise and knowledge.”
The scope of collaborations between Bone Therapeutics and Rigenerand aims to focus on different aspects of product and process development for Bone Therapeutics’ expanding therapeutic portfolio. Rigenerand will contribute to improving the processes involved in the development and manufacture of Bone Therapeutics’ MSC based allogeneic differentiated cell therapy products as they advance towards patients. The first collaboration between the two organizations will initially focus on augmented professional bone-forming cells – cells that are differentiated and programmed for a specific task. There is also potential for Bone Therapeutics to broaden its therapeutic targets and explore new mechanisms of action with potential gene modifications for its therapeutic portfolio.
In addition to Rigenerand’s MSC expertise, Bone Therapeutics also selected Rigenerand as a partner for Rigenerand’s GMP manufacturing facility. This facility, situated in Modena, Italy, has been designed to host a number of types of development processes for ATMPs. These include somatic, tissue engineered and gene therapy processes. These multiple areas of Rigenerand capabilities enable critical development of new processes and implementation of the gene modification of existing processes. In addition, Rigenerand has built considerable experience in cGMP manufacturing of MSC-based medicinal products, including those that are genetically modified.
“Process development and manufacturing is a key part of the development for ATMPs internationally. Navigating these therapies through the clinical development phase and into the market requires a carefully considered process development pathway,” said Massimo Dominici, scientific founder, Rigenerand, professor of medical oncology, and former President of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT). “This pathway needs to be flexible, as both the market and materials of these therapies continues to evolve alongside an improved clinical efficacy.”
“Rigenerand will offer considerable input from its experience of MSC-based therapies to enable Bone Therapeutics to keep and further accelerate the pace in development of the product processes of its MSC based allogeneic differentiated cell therapy as they advance towards patients,” said Giorgio Mari, CEO, Rigenerand. “We will continue to use our MSC expertise in the development of Rigenerand’s own products, as well as in process development and manufacturing cell and gene therapies for partner organizations across the globe.”
About Bone Therapeutics
Bone Therapeutics is a leading biotech company focused on the development of innovative products to address high unmet needs in orthopedics and other diseases. The Company has a, diversified portfolio of cell and biologic therapies at different stages ranging from pre-clinical programs in immunomodulation to mid-to-late stage clinical development for orthopedic conditions, targeting markets with large unmet medical needs and limited innovation.
Bone Therapeutics is developing an off-the-shelf next-generation improved viscosupplement, JTA-004, which is currently in Phase III development for the treatment of pain in knee osteoarthritis. Consisting of a unique combination of plasma proteins, hyaluronic acid - a natural component of knee synovial fluid, and a fast-acting analgesic, JTA-004 intends to provide added lubrication and protection to the cartilage of the arthritic joint and to alleviate osteoarthritic pain and inflammation. Positive Phase IIb efficacy results in patients with knee osteoarthritis showed a statistically significant improvement in pain relief compared to a leading viscosupplement.
Bone Therapeutics’ core technology is based on its cutting-edge allogeneic cell therapy platform with differentiated bone marrow sourced Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) which can be stored at the point of use in the hospital. Currently in pre-clinical development, BT-20, the most recent product candidate from this technology, targets inflammatory conditions, while the leading investigational medicinal product, ALLOB, represents a unique, proprietary approach to bone regeneration, which turns undifferentiated stromal cells from healthy donors into bone-forming cells. These cells are produced via the Bone Therapeutics’ scalable manufacturing process. Following the CTA approval by regulatory authorities in Europe, the Company has initiated patient recruitment for the Phase IIb clinical trial with ALLOB in patients with difficult tibial fractures, using its optimized production process. ALLOB continues to be evaluated for other orthopedic indications including spinal fusion, osteotomy, maxillofacial and dental.
Bone Therapeutics’ cell therapy products are manufactured to the highest GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards and are protected by a broad IP (Intellectual Property) portfolio covering ten patent families as well as knowhow. The Company is based in the BioPark in Gosselies, Belgium. Further information is available at www.bonetherapeutics.com.
Rigenerand SRL is a biotech company that both develops and manufactures medicinal products for cell therapy applications, primarily for regenerative medicine and oncology and 3D bioreactors as alternative to animal testing for pre-clinical investigations.
Rigenerand operates through three divisions:
- a proprietary pipeline, developing and GMP manufacturing of cell and gene therapies for cancer treatment,
- a CDMO division, providing GMP support for scale-up of cell based medicinal products for clinical and commercial purposes within fully equipped Grade A/B cleanrooms, and
- a division developing 3D technologies for cell culture, developing and manufacturing 3D solutions for R&D diagnostics and pre-clinical purposes (VITVO®).
Rigenerand is developing RR001, a proprietary ATMP gene therapy medicinal product for the treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). RR001 has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) by US-FDA and from the European Medicine Agency. The Clinical trial is expected to start in Q2 2021.
Rigenerand is headquartered in Medolla, Modena, Italy, with more than 1,200 square metres of offices, R&D and quality control laboratories and a cell factory of 450 square metres of sterile cleanroom (EuGMP Grade-B) with BSL2/BSL3 suites for cell and gene therapies manufacturing. It combines leaders and academics from biopharma and medical device manufacturing sectors.