Onward Therapeutics Makes Second Strategic Investment in Emercell for its NK Cell Development Technology in … –

EPALINGES, Switzerland and MONTPELLIER, France, June 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Onward Therapeutics SA (Onward Therapeutics) and Emercell SAS (Emercell) today announced that Onward Therapeutics has recently exercised the second of three tranches of investment in Emercell’s capital. With this new investment, Onward Therapeutics becomes Emercell’s majority shareholder.

Emercell is developing a technology platform to produce “off the shelf” natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are very powerful immune effectors, used alone in monotherapy or in combination with therapeutic antibodies, or are genetically modified to produce CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor)-NK cells, for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. NK-001 is an optimized cell therapy product composed of highly activated and allo-reactive allogeneic NK cells. Emercell’s patented manufacturing process allows full industrialization and use of the same batch of NK cells for the treatment of many patients.


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“This second equity investment in Emercell confirms that the NK-001 project is progressing well since our first investment in February 2021, and we will be able to rapidly scale up and industrialize the production of activated NK cells to provide new treatments for cancer patients,” said Dr. C. Grace YehCEO of Onward Therapeutics.

“We are delighted that the collaboration with Onward Therapeutics has reached another critical milestone. This investment allows us to continue the NK- project001 and focus on producing clinical batches,” said Dr. Patrick Henno, Founder and Chairman of Emercell. “We can also start looking to further optimize our NK cell production process, and explore other potential new cell therapies,” commented Dr. Alain HerreraChairman of the Board of Emercell.

About Onward Therapeutics

Onward Therapeutics is an oncology company focused on identifying and developing innovative drugs for the treatment of cancer. The Company, led by a team experienced in translational science and drug development, in-licenses potential development candidates and invests in partners with disruptive technology platforms. Onward Therapeutics obtained from Biomunex Pharmaceuticals SAS, Paris, France, the licensing of a preclinical-stage bispecific antibody (OT-A201) targeting two immune checkpoints; has an exclusive worldwide license option as part of an onco-metabolism program with the Montpellier Cancer Institute (ICM); and collaborates with Emercell SAS, Montpellier, France, in the development of NK-001, allogeneic natural killer cells. In addition, the Company has invested in Biomunex Pharmaceuticals SAS for their multi-specific antibody platform, and in Emercell SAS for their cell therapy technology. The company is headquartered at Biopôle (a life sciences campus in Epalinges ), near Lausanne, Switzerland, has a subsidiary in Parisin Franceand an office at taipeiin Taiwan.

About Emercell

Emercell is an oncology company that is developing a platform technology to produce “ready-to-use” natural killer (NK) allogeneic cells. The company’s R&D activities are based at the IRMB (Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapies) of the Center Hospitalier Universitaire Saint-Elaw, Montpellier, France. One of Emercell’s lead drug candidates, NK-001, is intended in particular for the treatment of patients suffering from lymphomas refractory to conventional treatments. It is a patented process for the pre-activation and amplification of allogeneic NK (Natural Killer) cells. Emercell collaborates with many industrial and academic partners. The company received support from the Occitanie Region (ADI) and Bpifrance, and obtained an FUI (funding). Emercell is a member of Eurobiomed.

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