“The manufacture of our cells is core to Aurion Biotech’s strategy, and is integral to our success,” said Greg Kunst, CEO, Aurion Biotech. “Since cell therapy is an emerging field, cell production experience is rare. By selecting S-RACMO and Cognate, and by bringing on Tim Largen to lead these teams, I am confident that we have assembled best-in-class resources to further differentiate our cell manufacturing capabilities.”
Aurion Biotech’s first candidate is a cell therapy for the treatment of corneal endothelial dysfunction, invented by world-renowned ophthalmic surgeon and research scientist Professor Shigeru Kinoshita and his distinguished colleagues at Kyoto Prefecture University of Medicine (KPUM) in Japan. Aurion Biotech’s parent company acquired this technology in 2020; Aurion Biotech is preparing to submit an NDA for market approval in Japan, and an IND for clinical trials in the U.S.
Tim Largen brings to Aurion Biotech over 20 years of experience helping companies move from clinical development into commercial production in gene and cell therapies. He joins Aurion Biotech from Lykan Bioscience, a start-up contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) where he led manufacturing sciences and technologies supporting a diverse client base. Prior to Lykan, Largen spent nearly a decade in roles of increasing responsibility at Dendreon, where he was responsible for establishing and running a high-volume cell therapy production facility. Before Dendreon, Largen held operations and supply chain roles at several life sciences companies, including Argos Therapeutics, Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Progenics), Trace Life Sciences, and NeoRx Corporation. Largen holds an M.B.A. in Operations Management Sciences and a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Texas.
Last year, Sumitomo Corporation announced the inception of a joint venture company, S-RACMO Co., Ltd. (S-RACMO), and the construction of a state-of-the-art facility to develop manufacturing methods and manufacture products for regenerative medicine and cell therapy. A collaboration between S-RACMO and Aurion Biotech was publicized in Japan in October of 2020.