Industry News: Bio-Techne and Catamaran Bio announce expanded collaboration for CAR-NK cell manufacturing technologies

25 Jun 2021

Bio-Techne and Catamaran Bio have announced an expansion of their collaboration for the development of cell engineering and cell process technologies for use by Catamaran in the manufacturing of CAR-NK cell therapy products.

The companies have now broadened the scope of their collaboration to include the development of novel cell expansion technologies for use in the manufacturing of CAR-NK cell therapy products. In addition, Catamaran has secured a broad worldwide license to Bio‑Techne’s rights related to the TcBuster™ transposon system for use in the research, clinical and commercial manufacturing of next-generation allogeneic cell therapy products. Catamaran has integrated the TcBuster transposon system, a non-viral cell engineering technology that enables multiple gene editing and efficient delivery of large genetic payloads, into its TAILWIND™ Platform for CAR-NK cell therapies.

The initial collaboration between Catamaran and Bio-Techne, which began in 2020, has been focused on optimizing the application of the TcBuster transposon system to CAR-NK cell engineering. The TcBuster transposon system was developed at B-MoGen Biotechnologies by a team that included Catamaran’s scientific co-founder, Branden Moriarty, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Minnesota. Bio-Techne acquired B-MoGen Biotechnologies in 2019.

“Our agreements with Catamaran open the path for Bio-Techne’s cutting-edge cell engineering and process technologies to deliver gene-modified CAR-NK cell therapies for cancer,” said Dave Eansor, President of Bio-Techne’s Protein Sciences Segment. “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Catamaran and increase our impact in the cell therapy space.”

“We have established a successful track record of collaborating with Bio-Techne to optimize technologies for use in CAR-NK cell engineering and manufacturing. This collaboration and license exemplify our strategy to access technologies that provide important advantages in the cell therapy manufacturing process, as we position Catamaran as a leader in developing off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapies for solid tumors,” said Alvin Shih, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catamaran Bio.

Through the collaboration, the Catamaran and Bio-Techne teams are focused on developing and enhancing technologies for scalable and robust manufacturing of allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies. Bio-Techne will contribute innovative cell expansion technologies and both companies will contribute know-how to enable large-scale production of functional CAR-NK cells.

“We are excited to be making advances with innovative technologies that enable Catamaran to achieve scalable and robust manufacturing processes for our CAR-NK cell therapies. We are committed to incorporating transformative technologies into our TAILWIND Platform as we advance our product candidates toward the clinic and enable allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies to reach their therapeutic potential,” said Vipin Suri, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Catamaran Bio.

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