The agreement expands on a manufacturing partnership – signed in May, 2016 – between the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) and Korean firm to make candidate Pexa-Vec (formerly JX-594) for Phase III trials in patients with advanced liver cancer.
JX-970 is an oncolytic virus designed to infect and kills cancer cells. It was developed from the Western strain of the vaccinia virus.
Complex processing methods are required to manufacture clinical materials from the large vaccinia virus, a SillaJen spokesperson told us.
The candidate’s “tumour selectivity has been optimised through deletion of thymidine kinase (TK) and vaccinia growth factor (VGF), said SillaJen, adding that it expresses granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to stimulate immune responses.
A SillaJen spokesperson told us the partnership with Transgene – acquired by ABL Europe in 2016 – to make Pexa-Vec clinical materials helped inform its decision to resign ABL.
“The Strasbourg facility has in place the necessary process and infrastructure for Pexa-Vec manufacturing,” the spokesperson told us.
“Our decision to choose ABL Europe (hence the former Transgene Strasbourg facility) for JX-970 manufacturing was due to the already-established process (and team) at this particular facility and the fact that we can leverage this experience in manufacturing our next-generation product,” the spokesperson added.