Our collaboration with Octane Biotech Inc. – based on the Cocoon™ technology, a fully automated, cGMP-in-a-box technology – made substantial progress in 2017. We have been successfully targeting and engaging key players in the autologous cell therapy field. The Cocoon™ technology keeps receiving positive feedback from customers and trade media, and it received the Spark Health 2017 design award. Lonza was invited to give a series of talks that showcased the Cocoon™ technology at a variety of tradeshows and workshops organized by regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
These activities were complemented by a series of key opinion leader talks about manufacturing automation, as well as sponsored case studies outlining the respective benefits of the technology.
Also in the field of Anc-AAV, our collaboration with Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE), which began in 2016 with an exclusive licensing agreement, is ongoing. Anc-AAV is a novel AAV technology capable of superior gene expression and has the potential to overcome critical limitations that exist with current AAV constructs, such as pre-existing immunity.
Our Nikon-Lonza collaboration project – with the aim to offer process development and manufacturing services in Japan in the cell-and-gene-therapy field – continues to progress according to plan. The new Nikon CeLL innovation (NCLi) facility in Tokyo (JP) is expected to go live in early 2018.
Lonza’s early engagement in pluripotent stem cells is reaching a critical milestone with several of our clients in the late stages of filing Investigational New Drug (IND) applications with the FDA for first-in-man studies. Innovative approaches, including bioreactor-based expansion and differentiation, are at the core of Lonza’s offerings in that field.