Around the Helix: Cell and Gene Therapy Company Updates – February 7, 2024

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Catch up on the latest news, breakthroughs, and announcements from biotechnology companies making advancements in cell and gene therapies.

CGTLive Around the Helix

The cell and gene therapy sectors are growing exponentially, with new players emerging daily and much progress being made both in and out of the lab. CGTLive™’s Around the Helix is your chance to catch up with the latest news in cell and gene therapies, including partnerships, pipeline updates, and more.

Have a cell and gene therapy news update you’d like to share with our editorial team? Tag us on social and use #AroundTheHelix!

1. Sickle Cell Disease Gene Therapies to Be Part of Initial Focus for Biden-Harris Administration’s CGT Access Model

The Biden-Harris Administration’s new Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Access Model, which is led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Innovation Center, will initially focus its efforts on improving access to CGT treatment options for patients with sickle cell disease.

2. FDA Accepts Adamptimmune’s BLA for Synovial Sarcoma TCR T-cell Therapy Afami-cel With Priority Review

Adaptimmune Therapeutics’ biologics license application for afamitresgeneautoleucel (afami-cel, formerly ADP-A2M4), an investigational T-cell receptor (TCR) T-cell therapy intended to treat synovial sarcoma, has been accepted by the FDA with priority review. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act target action date has been set for August 4, 2024.

3. Top News in Oncology Cell Therapy for World Cancer Day 2024

World Cancer Day, observed annually on February 4 by the patient and clinician communities, is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control and intended to improve awareness, education, and action towards ending preventable deaths from cancer.

4. Encoded Therapeutics’ Dravet Syndrome Gene Therapy ETX101 Cleared for Separate Clinical Trials in the US and Australia

Encoded Therapeutics’s ETX101, an investigational adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-based gene therapy intended to treat SCN1A+ Dravet syndrome, has received clearance from the FDA and the Australia Therapeutic Goods Administration for 2 separate clinical trials in each agency’s respective jurisdiction.

5. NAYA Biosciences Brings Florida Biotechnologies Into the Fold

Florida Biotechnologies, which is focused on the development of gene therapies for mitochondrial diseases, collaborated with the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute on an AAV vector-based gene therapy intended to treat Leber hereditary optic neuropathy that is now in clinical development. NAYA intends to push forward the development of this gene therapy, which uses an AAV capsid targeted at mitochondria.

6. Investors Infuse up to $1.25 Billion into BridgeBio Pharma

BridgeBio, which obtained the new funding from Blue Owl Capital and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Credit Investments, will put the finances towards advancing both its gene therapy programs and the launch of acoramidis, a key small molecule program for the company.

7. Charles River Launches New Gene Therapy Manufacturing Offering

The new product line, referred to as Rep/Cap Plasmids, consists of off-the-shelf plasmids intended to speed up production of AAV gene therapy products. “The launch of Charles River’s off-the-shelf Rep/Cap offering is the latest in a series of portfolio enhancements designed to streamline adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy programs,” Kerstin Dolph, the senior vice president of manufacturing at Charles River, said in a statement. “The reduction in production time and improved efficacy of the supply chain will help accomplish our ultimate goal of delivering safe, effective therapies to patients, faster.”

8. Clearway Health Offers New Model for Health Systems Seeking to Offer Gene Therapy

The pharmacy accelerator’s newly launched model is intended to simplify the process of incorporating and offering newly approved gene therapy treatments for hospitals and health systems. "Many health systems are not set up to coordinate the procurement of a novel gene therapy,” Eric Manuel Balmir, BS, MS, PharmD, CIM, the vice president of clinical ancillary services and chief pharmacy officer of Children's National Hospital, said in a statement. “There are an incredible amount of steps and considerations involved in the process. Clearway Health's framework allowed us to quickly and efficiently address these concerns, positioning our hospital to provide the latest pharmaceutical advancement."

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