On January 4th, China-based biotech Gracell Biotechnologies (Gracell) revealed details of the IPO. Gracell is offering 8.8 million American depositary shares (ADS) with 16 to 18 apiece, which will result in around 150 million. Expected to later list on the Nasdaq, Gracell determined to develop CAR-T therapies for providing new options to cancer patients, eliminating the poor outcomes of conventional medicine.
Gracell’s FasTCAR and TruUCAR, the two proprietary technology platforms, helped create two CAR-T therapies that have entered Phase 1 clinical trials in China.
Two CAR-T Therapy Platforms
FasTCAR is an autologous CAR-T platform designed to cross off defects from past manufacturing processes such as lengthy manufacturing time, suboptimal quality, high cost, and poor T cell fitness. FasTCAR can not only shorten the process to 22 – 36 hours but reduce risks of cross-contamination and produce less exhausted CAR-T cells for therapies.
GC012F, developed by FasTCAR, has achieved multiple minimal residual disease (MRD), negative stringent complete responses (sCR), in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (r/r MM) patients in the trial.
On the other hand, TruUCAR is the cell therapy platform that can produce allogeneic CAR-T therapies at a lower cost but with high-quality.
Most of the CAR-T therapies are autologous, but allogeneic counterparts provide the advantages of creating an off-the-shelf treatment for those who are too sick to provide their T-cells. Working with a scale-up strategy makes CAR-T products more affordable to patients.
Compared to FasTCAR, TruUCAR uses T cells from non-HLA-matched healthy donors and processes them to treat patients not suitable for autologous therapy and patients with progressing cancer.
GC027, developed by TruUCAR, has achieved multiple complete responses (CR), in relapsed or refractory T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r T-ALL) patients in the trial.
Gracell is also equipped with GMP manufacturing facilities, including a 66,000 square feet manufacturing facility, a 21,500 square feet GMP clean area, and 7.9 acres of prospective land to build commercial manufacturing sites. All in all, Gracell is capable of producing 12,000 universal samples and 3,200 autologous FasTCAR samples in a year.
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