Twist Bioscience and Neogene partner for next-generation personalized T cell therapies

Partnership combines Twist’s leadership in DNA synthesis and synthetic biology with Neogene’s expertise in personalized engineered T cell therapies

13 Oct 2020
Diane Li
Assistant Editor

Twist Bioscience Corporation, a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, and Neogene Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of fully personalized T cell therapies to treat cancer, have announced a broad strategic partnership. The companies will leverage Neogene’s proprietary expertise in targeting tumor neo-antigens, mutated proteins found in cancer cells due to cancer-associated DNA mutations, together with Twist’s DNA synthesis platform and product lines to develop personalized chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies and T cell receptor (TCR) therapies for patients with cancer.

“Engineered T cell therapies have demonstrated benefit to patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. We are delighted to partner with Neogene, a company pioneering fully personalized T cell therapies for solid tumors,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “Putting our platforms together, we believe we will be able to expedite the identification and genetic engineering of TCR genes to create personalized T cell therapies for cancer, bringing new hope to address the current limitations of treatments available today.”

“Neogene is committed to changing the treatment paradigm for solid cancers using our novel technology to provide access to tumor-specific TCRs for engineered T cell therapy on an individualized patient basis. Twist’s proven ability to make synthetic DNA products at scale provides a tremendous engine to power innovative, precise cancer therapeutics,” said Carsten Linnemann, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Neogene Therapeutics. “We are confident that our proprietary platform for the development of personalized T cell therapies, combined with Twist’s diversified platform of synthetic DNA based tools, will allow us to expedite development of revolutionary treatment options for solid cancers.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Neogene and Twist will work together to develop novel tools for T cell therapies. Twist Biopharma, a division of Twist Bioscience, will create a specialized T cell receptor (TCR) library for Neogene with the goal of discovering engineered TCRs against two specified T cell targets in cancer for future Neogene personalized T cell therapies. Using its “Library of Libraries”, Twist Biopharma also will discover antibodies with specific function, affinity and specificity to two oncology targets for future Neogene CAR-T therapies. These antibodies will have very fine (single point) specificity to their target providing the potential for novel CAR-T therapies against such targets.

Twist will receive technology access fees as well as milestones and royalties based on key preclinical, clinical and commercial milestones for any antibodies and T cell receptors resulting from the collaboration. Neogene will have exclusive rights to the synthetic TCR library for targeting viral and neo-antigens in the field of oncology.

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