Polyplus and ENCell sign MOU for gene therapy discovery and optimization projects in Korea
ENCell started as a spin-off company of Samsung Medical Center in 2018 and is now a major player in the cell and gene therapy CMO market in Korea, while France headquartered Polyplus is an upstream technology provider for advanced biologic and cell and gene therapy production from research to commercial grade.
The teams said they are aligning on projects that support the goals of ENCell to be a one-stop contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for gene-modified cell products.
Project activities will be conducted at ENCell’s GMP plants in Hanam in Gyeonggi-do in South Korea, with Polyplus’ scientific support.
Dr Jong Wook Chang, CEO of ENCell, said part of the appeal of the alliance with Polyplus is being able to leverage its global network, stable supply chain, and in-depth upstream process support capability. “Together, we will optimize and advance our manufacturing technology.”
The Korean CMO said it can provide comprehensive manufacturing services in terms of gene-modified cell products such as CAR-T or CAR-NK, including LV and AAV viral vector production.
It recently established its third GMP plant for the manufacture of clinical grade viral vectors, with it flagging how its certified facilities meet all requirements for incubation, purification, testing for analytics, aseptic preparation and packaging necessary for production of advanced biopharmaceuticals.
It is currently running a CAR-T manufacturing project for a clinical trial in one such plant, and an AAV manufacturing project in its newest facility.
Thomas LeJolly, APAC director, Polyplus said that as the industry’s needs change, the French firm is looking to deepen its upstream process economics solutions with more product and support options across sectors. “Polyplus’ legacy intracellular nucleic acid transfection solutions are now complemented by plasmid vector engineering services to help improve cell and gene therapy viral vector productivity and quality.”