Avacta, Daewoong Expand Affimer Alliance

By Contract Pharma Staff | 07.30.20

To develop stem cell therapies for COVID-19 and future pandemic diseases.

Avacta Group plc, the developer of Affimer biotherapeutics and reagents, has expanded its collaboration and license agreement with Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and AffyXell Therapeutics to develop stem cell treatments incorporating Avacta’s neutralizing Affimer therapy for the treatment of seriously ill COVID-19 patients and to prepare to rapidly develop similar therapies for future pandemics.

Respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 can cause serious damage to the lungs as a consequence of over-activation of the patient's immune system, resulting in cytokine release syndrome that can potentially lead to multiple organ failure and death. Stem cell therapies offer a promising approach to repair the damage to lung tissues in these pulmonary diseases by controlling the immune balance.

AffyXell Therapeutics, the next-generation cell and gene therapy joint venture between Avacta and Daewoong Pharmaceutical, is developing a novel class of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatments that are engineered to also produce Affimer therapies in the patient at the site of action.

The expansion of the agreement extends the scope of the partnership to include Affimer molecules that target viruses, such as coronaviruses, in order to develop therapies that repair the lung damage caused by COVID-19, and to produce neutralizing Affimer molecules to prevent disease progression.