Selexis teams with Tallac in latest cell line deal

Selexis has entered a cell line development partnership with Tallac Therapeutics to advance immunotherapies used to treat cancer.

Both companies have signed a service agreement and a commercial license agreement to strengthen Tallac’s Toll-like Receptor Agonist Antibody Conjugate (TRAAC) platform. The platform allows “systemic delivery of a differentiated and targeted TLR9 agonist (T-CpG) for immune activation.”

The collaboration will also see Tallac employ Selexis’ SUREtechnology platform, which is used to advance the research cell banks to enable immunotherapy candidates that treat solid tumors to the clinic.

Image/iStock: ChristianChan

Selexis’ SUREtechnology platform engineers clonal mammalian research cell banks (RCB) to produce therapeutic recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies.

“The pressures on the CHO [Chinese hamster ovary] expression system to express novel and complex proteins led Selexis to develop a series of new modules for its technology platform that address issues such as transcription, translation, glycosylation, folding and secretion bottlenecks,” chief business officer, Yemi Onakunle told BioProcess Insider. “These modules allow the identification of lead candidate clones that will ultimately be used for biologics manufacturing.”

While no financial details have been disclosed, the location of the manufacturing has been confirmed:

“The development of RCB used to express Tallac’s TRAAC will be done at Selexis’ global headquarters and laboratory located in Geneva, Switzerland. After the RCB is complete, it will be transferred to Tallac’s contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for commercial drug manufacturing,” Onakunle said.

After being acquired by JSR Life Sciences in 2017, an 8,700 square meter facility in Geneva became home for Selexis and KBI Biopharma in October 2020, offering customers both cell line development and drug substance manufacturing.

Four in one

This is Selexis’ fourth deal in just under a month and Onakunle told us this is because “continued success is due to a combination of demand and our ability to innovate our technology platform to address the novel and complex proteins in development by biopharmaceutical companies.”

On March 18, SpyBiotech licensed the cell line developer to advance its vaccine program for human cytomegalovirus, SPYVLP102. Under the agreement, SpyBiotech will use Selexis’ SUREtechnology platform.

Just two days before, Selexis entered a service agreement with US-based Pandion Therapeutics to develop PT627, an antibody that targets autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

A week prior to Selexis’ deal with Pandion, it partnered with Boston Immune Technologies and Therapeutics (BITT) to develop the cell line using the SUREtechnology platform to advance BITT’S TNFR2, which treats cancers and infectious diseases.

“We have seen significant growth in biologic R&D due to the increased prevalence of cancer and infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Further, biosimilar development in middle-income and emerging countries has provided a significant opportunity for Selexis technologies and services,” said Onakunle.