Biotech

Chimeric Therapeutics partners-up to support cell programs

Tue 12 Apr 22, 2:22pm (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Chimeric has entered a strategic manufacturing partnership with global contract testing and manufacturing organisation WuXi ATU
  • The new partnership will enable Chimeric to accelerate clinical manufacturing readiness for new CAR T assets and to scale CAR T manufacturing to support multiple, simultaneous, multicentre CAR T clinical trials in the future
  • Given the Chimeric isn't currently generating revenue, there’s growing concern over the speed at which the company is now burning cash

Chimeric Therapeutics (CHM) was up around 7.14% in early afternoon trade after the cell therapy company revealed to the market a strategic manufacturing partnership with global contract testing and manufacturing organisation WuXi ATU to support the company’s Chimeric CAR T-cell programs.

Chimeric will transfer certain manufacturing and analytical testing technologies to WuXi ATU, which under the agreement, will in return support process and analytical development and conduct testing activities for the cell programs.

To the uninitiated, WuXi ATU is a Philadelphia-based advanced therapies business unit of WuXi AppTec.

The company offers integrated platforms to transform the discovery, development, testing, manufacturing, and commercialisation of cell and gene therapies for customers worldwide.

Accelerate clinical manufacturing

The new partnership will enable Chimeric to accelerate clinical manufacturing readiness for new CAR T assets and to scale CAR T manufacturing to support multiple, simultaneous, multicentre CAR T clinical trials in the future.

The initial focus under the agreement will be on Chimeric’s two autologous CAR T-cell therapies for solid tumours.

Commenting on today’s announcement, CEO Jennifer Chow said:

“With its extensive experience in cGMP manufacturing and analytical testing, as well as its seamless platform process for CAR T-cell production, WuXi ATU is uniquely positioned to support the acceleration and expansion of the CHM 1101 and CHM 2101 development programs.”

Single-site phase

CHM 1101 is currently being evaluated in a single-site phase one clinical trial to treat patients with recurrent or progressive glioblastoma.

The program is expected to leverage on WuXi’s scalable manufacturing and analytical testing capacity to enable future expansion of the program to multiple additional clinical trial sites and additional solid tumour indications, including metastatic melanoma.

Then there’s CHM 2101 which is currently in late preclinical development for multiple gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.

End-to-end platform process

Management expects the program to capitalise on Wuxi’s end-to-end platform process for Car T manufacturing and testing which will prepare the company for the planned first in-human study.

Chimeric has not disclosed the financial value of the partnership but expects the cost of the agreement to be funded from existing cash reserves.

Cash burn concerns

Given that Chimeric isn't currently generating revenue, there’s growing concern over the speed at which the company is now burning cash.

As of December 2021, the company has a cash runway estimated to be around 10 months which suggests the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash.

Upward movement in share price today comes as welcome relief for Chimeric which has been dragged down by the caning inflicted on biotech stocks over the past 6-8 months.

The stock is currently trading at half the $0.30 it was trading at mid-November 2021.

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Chimeric share price disappoints over last six months.

Written By

Mark Story

Editor

Mark is an award-winning investigative financial journalist and editor who started his career working for Marathon Oil in London. He has a degree in politics/economics, a diploma in journalism and has completed the Institute of Directors course. Mark has worked on 70-plus newspapers and financial publications across Australia, NZ, the US, and Asia including: The Australian Financial Review, Money Magazine, Australian Property Investor and Finance Asia. Mark is passionate about improving the financial literacy of all Australians through the highest quality content.

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