CAR-T Firm Autolus Raises $150m in IPO

Autolus Therapeutics has gone public and says it is looking to build its own T cell therapy manufacturing capabilities.

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Autolus launched its initial public offering (IPO) in May, and today the firm said it has raised approximately US$150 million ( €129 million) and has begun trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “AUTL.”

The London, UK-based firm is a gene therapy developer working on personalized Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapies for cancer using its proprietary platform to reprogram a patient’s T cells to recognize and kill tumor cells.

An Autolus spokesperson could not comment on the IPO, but according to an F1 filing with the SEC, the firm intends to use the funds raised to complete proof-of-concept phases of its Phase I/II clinical trials of its clinical-stage product.

It also is looking to fund R&D activities to further expand its T cell programming technologies and to fund manufacturing of its product pipeline.

Pipeline

Autolus has six autologous therapies in its pipeline, with the most advanced being a CD19-targeting programmed T cell therapy intended to treat leukemia.

“The breadth of our technology platform allows us to select from a range of programming modules, and our modular approach is designed to enable us to tailor our therapies to address the specific cancer we are targeting, or to improve an already established therapy, such as by making it suitable for outpatient use,” the firm says about its technology.

“We believe this capability represents a competitive advantage in the field and will allow us to position our product candidates to have the potential to be best-in-class.”

Manufacturing

In 2017, the firm moved into the UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGTC) manufacturing center in Stevenage, UK. Autolus takes up one of six manufacturing modules at the center, funded by the UK government and dedicated to supporting the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry.

“We are using a semi-automated, fully enclosed system for cell manufacturing, which is designed to provide a common platform suitable for manufacturing all of our product candidates and to allow for rapid development of our product candidates through clinical trial phases and the regulatory approval processes,” Autolus said in its filing.

“In addition, this platform allows for parallel processing and the ability to scale for commercial supply in a controlled environment and at an economical cost.”

But Autolus plans “to build internal manufacturing and supply capabilities as well as to utilize the expertise of collaborators on some of the aspects of product delivery, logistics and capacity expansion,” the firm added.

“We believe having established manufacturing processes suitable for commercialization early in the development of our T cell therapies will allow us to focus on expanding manufacturing capacity during our clinical trials.”

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