Iovance hires Avid to make IL-2 receptor antagonist cancer candidate

Avid Bioservices will make IOV-3001, Iovance Therapeutics’ candidate interleukin-2 receptor agonist intended for the treatment of cancer.

Avid will commence analytical activities, upstream and downstream process development, and pilot-scale non-GMP manufacturing for IOV-3001.

The firm will also work with Aragen Biosciences, which is carrying out cell line development activities.

Image: iStock/Zolak

The next stage will see Avid manufacture the drug at its Myford facility in Tustin, California.

News of the contract comes just a month after Avid said it planned to increase manufacturing capacity at the facility over the next few years.

IND plan

Iovance licensed development rights to IOV-3001 from Novartis in January.

The protein is an engineered IL-2 CDR graft that targets IL2R beta-gamma-expressing cells and limits IL2R alpha-beta-gamma-dependent Treg activation.

At the time said it would focus on GMP manufacturing of IOV-3001 during 2020 and may initiate IND-enabling activities as early as 2021.

Alliances

Avid CCO Timothy Compton welcomed the deal. He also said, “This new contract award also illustrates the value of Avid’s efforts to establish alliances with key providers of complementary CDMO services such as Aragen.”

Avid and Aragen team up to offer combined cell line and process development in May.

Under the non-exclusive deal, the companies will offer customers Aragen’s cell line development expertise integrated with Avid’s upstream and downstream process development and analytical services.

At the time an Avid spokesman said, “Many of our prospect customers are requesting expedited timelines to GLP-Tox pilot batch and cGMP drug substance deliveries for their early stage programs.

“Those early-stage prospects are also requesting cell line development bundled with process development, pilot manufacturing and cGMP manufacturing. Likewise, Aragen tells us that their customers have similar requests for later phase process development and manufacturing services.  For those reasons, we believe it makes sense to team up with Aragen to co-promote an integrated offering.”

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