Kincell Bio to buy cell therapy NC plant from Imugene

CDMO Kincell Bio will support Imugene’s allogeneic CAR-T candidate Azer-cel after acquiring its North Carolina facility for up to $6 million.

Millie Nelson, Editor

April 18, 2024

1 Min Read

The 32,000 square-foot manufacturing plant located in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina has the potential to be expanded in capacity and the firm plans to expand capabilities to support the production of cell-based therapies.

In addition to acquiring the facility, US contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Kincell - which emerged from stealth in August 2023 - has partnered with Imugene to advance Azer-cel, its allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) into later-phase development.

“This strategic partnership with Imugene including the acquisition of the facility is a next step in our evolution to support cell therapy developers, by adding later-phase capability to our network,” Bruce Thompson, CEO of Kincell, told BioProcess Insider.

“We feel that now is the right time for this strategic move through voice of customer feedback highlighting the need for a partner, like Kincell Bio, to provide support from preclinical development through registrational studies. Partnering with Imugene to progress its Azer-cel product into later-phase development presented the perfect opportunity to mature our network.”

The transfer of the manufacturing facility, staff and outsourcing manufacturing and supply operations of Azer-cel to Kincell means Imugene cuts its headcount by 50% and extends its cash runway to 2026. In total, Imugene will save $32 million over the next three years.

Thompson said “Kincell has transitioned employees from Imugene” to maintain operations but did not disclose how many employees this involves.

“It’s a win/win since both Imugene and Kincell can maximize their core capabilities and leverage their respective expertise. Ultimately, we see this strategic transaction as being in the best interest of Imugene, Kincell and, most importantly, the patients who could benefit from Azer-cel,” managing director and CEO of Imugene, Leslie Chong told us.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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