RXi Pharmaceuticals and privately-held MirImmune have entered into a license agreement to use RXi’s novel and proprietary technology for development of cell-based cancer drugs.
The companies announced that they have entered into an exclusive license agreement to RXi’s sd-rxRNA technology for use in developing innovative cell-based cancer immunotherapies. The collaboration is aimed at developing novel, more effective and patient-friendly cancer treatments that could be a significant step toward precision medicine, a medical model that proposes tailoring treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, also known as personalized medicine.
Under the deal, MirImmune will be responsible for all research, development, manufacturing and commercialization activities for the licensed products. The goal of the collaboration is to develop cell-based therapeutics utilizing RXi’s sd-rxRNA technology to target immune inhibitory pathways responsible for limiting the effects of cancer immunotherapies. MirImmune will have access to RXi’s sd-rxRNA and rxRNAori patent families for ex vivo modification of cells for the treatment of cancer. These patents include the composition of sd-rxRNA and rxRNAori RNAi structure, as well as potential targets for cell-based therapeutics.
“Not only is this collaboration a visionary step forward by RXi because it has the potential to develop cutting edge cell-based therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy and possibly other unmet medical needs, it also further validates the Company’s proprietary self-delivering RNAi technology platform,” said Dr. Craig Mello, Chairman of RXi Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisory Board.
MirImmune will pay RXi an annual licensing fee, clinical milestone payments, sublicensing income and single digit royalties. Pending MirImmune’s achievement of a few gating milestones, RXi will have the right to acquire a double-digit equity stake in MirImmune.
According to MirImmune’s CEO Alexey Eliseev, RXi’s self-delivering technology is best suited for cell-based therapeutics because sd-rxRNAs easily transfect any cell type; sd-rxRNAs do not require formulation in a complex delivery system for efficient cellular uptake, allowing for a streamlined -manufacturing process; and sd-rxRNA allows for the ability to target multiple genes of interest simultaneously.
Cancer immunotherapy attempts to treat disease by stimulating the immune system to destroy tumors. Cell-based cancer immunotherapy is a treatment that uses a patient’s own cells. Immune cells are taken out of the body, cultured and processed to become activated and then are reinfused into the patient’s body to attack cancer cells. Unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy, this approach primarily targets cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells.
Source: RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Last updated: 3/27/15; 12:40pm EST