Century is one of several companies developing “allogeneic” cell therapies, which involve cells from donors and are meant to be more convenient than personalized, “autologous” CAR-T counterparts. The company was launched by Versant Ventures in 2019 with $250 million in funding — a sizable round that included the financial support of Bayer — and added another $211 million in an initial public offering two years later.
But Century has been swept up in the biotech sector’s downturn since then, a pullback that’s hit cell therapy developers particularly hard. The company has also dealt with growing skepticism around allogeneic treatments, which have struggled to match the high bar set by CAR-T therapies and are dealing with increased competition from bispecific antibodies. Century has lost more than 80% of its value since its IPO and, in January, laid off 25% of its staff and restructured its pipeline. Others such as Celularity and Fate Therapeutics have restructured in the last few months as well.
Century began a Phase 1 trial of a prospective lymphoma treatment in February. The study will test the potential of a repeat dosing regimen, one strategy allogeneic cell therapy developers are evaluating to boost the durability. That effort will, for now, be led by Russotti, a former cell therapy executive with Celgene. READ MORE
By Delilah Alvarado
In 2017, Sanofi partnered with the Lebanon, New Hampshire-based ImmuNext to develop an antibody for autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis, which included giving Sanofi a worldwide license to develop frexalimab. The agreement involved milestone payments upto $500 million.
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In its hunt for the new head of its pharmaceutical systems business—which makes syringes, self-injection systems and other drug delivery devices for 70% of the top 100 drugmakers in the world, according to the company—BD landed on a candidate with plenty of experience among that customer group.