Avectas, CCRM & OmniaBio Expand Their Collaboration to Accelerate the Manufacture of Edited iPSCs Using SOLUPORE Technology

Avectas and CCRM, with its subsidiary OmniaBio Inc., have recently announced an expansion of their collaboration, to enable the development of gene-edited induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using Avectas’ non-viral cell engineering platform, SOLUPORE.

Cell therapies are significantly transforming the treatment of diseases, including cancer, inflammation, and metabolic diseases for patients worldwide; however, barriers remain to patient access. To overcome these challenges and create effective and truly “off-the-shelf” cell therapies, therapeutic developers are deriving allogeneic (from healthy donors) cell therapies from iPSCs.

This expanded collaboration, which builds on the original partnership announced in March 2020, will combine CCRM and OmniaBio’s extensive experience in iPSC manufacturing processes and characterization with Avectas’ SOLUPORE technology, to overcome the limitations of current delivery technologies. These include complex editing and the long manufacturing times required to create edited iPSC-derived master and working cell banks. The SOLUPORE technology facilitates sequential cell modification while maintaining cell health, by efficiently delivering protein and nucleic acid cargo into cells with minimum perturbation.

Michael Maguire, PhD, CEO of Avectas, said “We are delighted to expand our partnership with CCRM and OmniaBio to leverage their deep experience in iPSC reprogramming, gene editing and manufacturing processes to support the translation of our SOLUPORE platform towards clinical applications. Combining Avectas’ novel cell engineering platform with CCRM and OmniaBio’s extensive knowledge in the development of manufacturing processes for cell therapies will accelerate the availability of novel edited iPSC banks for allogeneic cell therapies.”

“We’re very pleased to be continuing our partnership with Avectas in a project that is designed to move the industry closer to developing “off-the-shelf” cell therapies for patients,” said Michael May, PhD, President and CEO of CCRM. “With the addition of OmniaBio’s manufacturing capabilities, we have the infrastructure and technical expertise to support the translation of the SOLUPORE platform for clinical use across a broader number of cell types.”

“CCRM spun-out OmniaBio to provide cell and gene technology developers with a new and differentiated option in the CDMO space that not only provides expertise and capacity across the entire development spectrum, but also works with technology developers to catalyze the commercialization of the next wave of innovative process and analytical tools,” explained Mitchel Sivilotti, CEO of OmniaBio. “OmniaBio has deep subject matter expertise in bioprocessing and cell therapy manufacturing, and we are delighted to be collaborating on this project.”

Avectas is a cell engineering technology business that has developed a unique delivery platform to enable the ex vivo manufacture gene-modified cell therapy products that retain high in vivo function. Our vision is to position the non-viral SOLUPORE cell engineering technology to be integrated into manufacturing processes, including complex gene editing, for multiple autologous and allogeneic therapies and commercialized through development and license agreements. For more information, visit  www.avectas.com.

CCRM is a global, public-private partnership headquartered in Canada. It receives funding from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and leading academic and industry partners. CCRM supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. A network of researchers, leading companies, investors and entrepreneurs, CCRM accelerates the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients with specialized teams, dedicated funding and unique infrastructure. In 2022, CCRM established OmniaBio Inc., a commercial-stage CDMO for manufacturing cell and gene therapies. CCRM is the commercialization partner of the University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design. CCRM is hosted by the University of Toronto. For more information, visit www.ccrm.ca.

OmniaBio Inc. is a CDMO with pre-clinical to commercial-scale manufacturing capability for cell and gene therapies, and a subsidiary of CCRM. Benefitting from CCRM’s existing expertise and established business practices, OmniaBio provides a continuum of advanced process and analytical development, and manufacturing capabilities by enabling focused support for clients from early clinical phase to commercial supply needs. OmniaBio is built upon leadership in iPSCs, LVVs and immunotherapy. To be located at McMaster Innovation Park, less than one hour from the U.S. border, OmniaBio’s new commercial manufacturing site will anchor a biomanufacturing centre of excellence and will open with late clinical phase and commercial capacity in 2024 in a site totalling approximately 100,000 square feet. OmniaBio is supported by the Government of Ontario, via the Invest Ontario Fund. For more information, visit www.omniabio.com.