CoImmune, a joint venture set up by SCM Life Science and Genexine in the U.S., said that it has acquired Formula Pharmaceuticals, an Italian-based drug firm, to bolster its immunotherapy platform.
As a result of the acquisition, CoImmune will acquire the rights to all tangible and intangible assets of Formula, expanding the company's pipeline with two additional drug candidates -- CMN-001, an advanced renal cancer drug, and Cytokine-Induced Killer Cell (CAR-CIK), an acute lymphocytic leukemia drug.
CAR-CIK is a therapeutic drug that uses cord blood of healthy humans to overcome financial limitations such as high cost and side effects of current CAR-T therapeutics.
Existing Formula investors will invest $6 million in CoImmune for CAR-CIK's U.S. clinical development, while CoImmune plans to attract Series A investments in Europe and the United States.
"The company determined that Formula had a strong technology and a solid investment base in the field of leukemia treatment," CoImmune CEO Charles Nicolette said. "The merger and acquisition is a great opportunity to integrate the two companies' anti-cancer therapies and provide opportunities to maximize corporate value."
The company plans to use the synergy between the two companies to conduct clinical trials and obtain FDA approval as soon as possible, Nicolette added.
CoImmune is conducting phase 2b clinical trials for CMN-001 at five U.S. hospitals, including MD Anderson.
For CAR-CIK U.S. clinical trials, the company will continue to develop the next generation of CAR-CIK with the University of Milano-Bicocca and San Gerardo Hospitals in Italy.
The company has appointed Professor Andrea Biondi, the developer of CAR-CIK, as a clinical advisory board member for CoImmune.
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