Twist Bioscience Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, and Neogene Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of fully personalized T cell therapies to treat cancer, today announced a broad strategic partnership. The companies will leverage Neogene’s proprietary expertise in targeting tumor neo-antigens, mutated proteins found in cancer cells due to cancer-associated DNA mutations, together with Twist’s DNA synthesis platform and product lines to develop personalized chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies and T cell receptor (TCR) therapies for patients with cancer.
“Engineered T cell therapies have demonstrated benefit to patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. We are delighted to partner with Neogene, a company pioneering fully personalized T cell therapies for solid tumors,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “Putting our platforms together, we believe we will be able to expedite the identification and genetic engineering of TCR genes to create personalized T cell therapies for cancer, bringing new hope to address the current limitations of treatments available today.”
“Neogene is committed to changing the treatment paradigm for solid cancers using our novel technology to provide access to tumor-specific TCRs for engineered T cell therapy on an individualized patient basis. Twist’s proven ability to make synthetic DNA products at scale provides a tremendous engine to power innovative, precise cancer therapeutics,” said Carsten Linnemann, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Neogene Therapeutics. “We are confident that our proprietary platform for the development of personalized T cell therapies, combined with Twist’s diversified platform of synthetic DNA based tools, will allow us to expedite development of revolutionary treatment options for solid cancers.”
Under the terms of the collaboration, Neogene and Twist will work together to develop novel tools for T cell therapies. Twist Biopharma, a division of Twist Bioscience, will create a specialized T cell receptor (TCR) library for Neogene with the goal of discovering engineered TCRs against two specified T cell targets in cancer for future Neogene personalized T cell therapies. Using its “Library of Libraries”, Twist Biopharma also will discover antibodies with specific function, affinity and specificity to two oncology targets for future Neogene CAR-T therapies. These antibodies will have very fine (single point) specificity to their target providing the potential for novel CAR-T therapies against such targets.
Twist will receive technology access fees as well as milestones and royalties based on key preclinical, clinical and commercial milestones for any antibodies and T cell receptors resulting from the collaboration. Neogene will have exclusive rights to the synthetic TCR library for targeting viral and neo-antigens in the field of oncology.
About Neogene Therapeutics
Neogene Therapeutics is a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering development of next-generation, fully personalized engineered T cells therapies for a broad spectrum of cancers. The Company’s engineered T cells target tumor neo-antigens, mutated proteins found in cancer cells due to cancer-associated DNA mutations, that render tumor cells vulnerable to detection by T cells. Neogene’s proprietary technology platform aims to identify TCR genes with specificity for neo-antigens from a tumor biopsy. Since every cancer expresses a unique set of neo-antigens, Neogene’s novel approach delivers a tailored set of TCR genes for each individual patient. These TCR genes are engineered into patient-derived T cells directing them towards neo-antigens in tumor cells, thereby providing a fully personalized engineered T cell therapy for cancer. For more information, please visit www.neogene.com, and follow @Neogene Therapeutics on LinkedIn.
About Twist Bioscience Corporation
Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by “writing” DNA on a silicon chip. Twist is leveraging its unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologics drug discovery. Twist makes products for use across many industries including healthcare, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein, including but not limited to the ability of Twist’s partnership with Neogene to successfully develop personalized T cell treatments for cancer and expedite the development of revolutionary treatment options for solid cancers, are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that may cause Twist Bioscience’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risks and uncertainties of the ability to attract new customers and retain and grow sales from existing customers; risks and uncertainties of rapidly changing technologies and extensive competition in synthetic biology could make the products Twist Bioscience is developing obsolete or non-competitive; uncertainties of the retention of a significant customer; risks of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Twist Bioscience’s patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Twist Bioscience’s proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Bioscience’s business in general, see Twist Bioscience’s risk factors set forth in Twist Bioscience’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q dated August 12, 2020. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.