Umoja Biopharma and IASO Biotherapeutics collaborate to bring off-the-shelf therapies to patients with hematological malignancies

Umoja Biopharma and IASO Biotherapeutics have entered into a research agreement to evaluate Umoja’s iCIL platform with IASO’s best-in-class CARs. The collaboration will focus on bringing off-the-shelf therapies to patients with hematological malignancies, initially acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a goal of increasing patient accessibility.

“We believe that developing off-the-shelf therapies using our iCIL platform and IASO’s CARs will pave the way to broader patient access to top-line therapies in hematological malignancies,” said Andy Scharenberg, M.D., co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Umoja. “As medicine and science have progressed, so have patient outcomes in cancer, but we still have a way to go. Collaborations like this between Umoja and IASO seek to push the next phase of cancer treatment forward.”

Umoja’s iPSC-based allogeneic cell therapy platform uses its synthetic receptor enabled differentiation (ShRED) manufacturing process to direct differentiation and expansion of iCILs, a novel class of innate lymphocyte, with potent anti-tumor activity. ShRED generated-iCILs retain functionality in feeder-free culture after 100 days and, as ShRED does not require feeder-cells to induce effector cell expansion, these cells retain their proliferative capacity without the need for multiple complex raw materials.

“We are very pleased to enter a collaboration with Umoja,” said Wen (Maxwell) Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of IASO Bio. “The benefit of our fully-human CAR constructs to treat patients with hematologic malignancies have been validated in clinical trials of our broad set of targets and indications. We are excited to develop next generation novel cell therapies by combining our CAR constructs with Umoja’s novel ShRED technologies with potentially lower cost.”

IASO’s strong capability in screening potentially best-in-class CARs utilizing its proprietary fully-human antibody discovery platform (IMARS), a high-throughput CAR screening platform, and executing clinical trials rapidly, as well as its fully in-house GMP facility for plasmid, virus vector, and CAR-T cell manufacturing with over 90% success rate aims to bring its innovative therapies to a broader population globally.

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