FLORHAM PARK, N.J., April 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celularity Inc. ("Celularity"), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, leading the next evolution in cellular medicine with the development of off-the-shelf allogeneic therapies derived from the postpartum human placenta, announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation to the company's non-genetically modified cryopreserved human placental hematopoietic stem cell-derived natural killer (NK) cell therapy, CYNK-001, for the treatment of patients with malignant gliomas. CYNK-001 is currently being investigated in a phase 1 clinical trial (NCT04489420) for the treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an indication within the scope of this orphan designation.
"We are very pleased the FDA has granted Orphan Designation in malignant gliomas to continue to develop off-the-shelf therapies for serious unmet clinical needs," said Robert J. Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., founder, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Celularity. "Building on the FDA's recent decision to grant Fast Track status to CYNK-001, we view the Orphan Drug Designation as yet another milestone on our journey to deliver patients a potentially novel treatment. To date, we have observed the potential of CYNK-001 in multiple preclinical models as well as early evidence of activity in the clinic and believe this approach may shift the paradigm in augmenting the body's natural immune response to diseases such as glioblastoma, other cancer indications and infectious diseases. We are very excited to continue working with the FDA on the development of this exciting therapy."
About Orphan Drug Designation
The Orphan Drug Act (ODA) encourages biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for conditions which affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States by providing economic incentives. To qualify for orphan designation, both the drug and the condition must meet criteria specified in the ODA and FDA's implementing regulations 21 CFR Part 316. Orphan designation qualifies the drug sponsor for development incentives including tax credits for qualified expenses, reduction in the FDA user fee, and seven years of exclusivity for a drug that obtains approval.
About Malignant Gliomas
Glioma is a type of tumor that occurs in the brain and spinal cord. Malignant gliomas consist of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), anaplastic astrocytoma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, anaplastic oligoastrocytoma, anaplastic ependymoma, and anaplastic ganglioglioma. Malignant gliomas are associated with high morbidity and mortality. GBM accounts for the majority of malignant gliomas. Currently there are no effective long-term treatments for the disease. Patients with GBM usually survive less than 15 months following diagnosis. In most patients, the rapidly growing malignant tumor tends to recur within 6-8 months following treatment. Patients with recurrent GBM have even poorer prognosis. Therefore, malignant gliomas, such as GBM, are serious diseases with high unmet medical needs.
Celularity's lead therapeutic program based on its placental-derived unmodified NK cell type is CYNK-001, an allogeneic unmodified NK cell being developed as a treatment for hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and infectious diseases.
Celularity, headquartered in Florham Park, N.J., is a clinical stage biotechnology company leading the next evolution in cellular medicine by developing off-the-shelf placental-derived allogeneic cell therapies, including unmodified NK cells, genetically-modified NK cells, T cells engineered with a CAR (CAR T-cells), and mesenchymal-like adherent stromal cells (ASCs) targeting indications across cancer, infectious and degenerative diseases. Celularity believes that by harnessing the placenta's unique biology and ready availability, it will be able to develop therapeutic solutions that address significant unmet global needs for effective, accessible, and affordable therapies.
In January 2021, Celularity entered into a definitive merger agreement with GX Acquisition Corp. to create a publicly listed leader in allogeneic cellular therapy. GX Acquisition Corp. is listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "GXGX." Upon closing of the business combination, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, shares of the combined company will be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "CELU."
To learn more, visit celularity.com.
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