Leucid Bio and Lonza Enter Strategic Collaboration to Leverage the Cocoon® Platform for Automated Manufacturing of Personalised CAR T-Cells

  • Leucid will work with Lonza on the Cocoon® Platform for Leucid Bio’s Phase I/II clinical studies with its lead candidate, LEU-011, for the treatment of platinum resistant ovarian cancer
  • Leucid will utilise the Cocoon® Platform through to commercial manufacturing


London, UK – 2 December 2021 – Leucid Bio (“Leucid” or the “Company”), a biotech company pioneering next-generation cell therapies for hard-to-treat cancers, today announces that it has entered a strategic collaboration with Lonza to utilize Lonza’s Cocoon® Platform for the Company’s forthcoming Phase I clinical trial, through to commercial manufacturing.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Leucid will utilise Lonza as its preferred manufacturer, aiming to deliver high quality cell therapies quickly and cost-effectively to patients in a decentralized manufacturing model. Leucid is, in turn, one of Lonza’s preferred collaborators on the Cocoon® Platform, and both companies will work together to optimise and streamline the manufacturing process for Leucid’s CAR-T therapies.  As a preferred collaborator, Leucid will have early access to new Cocoon® Platform technologies.

Founded to translate 20 years of pioneering CAR-T research led by Dr John Maher at King’s College London, Leucid has developed a proprietary engine that builds upon Dr Maher’s novel parallel CAR-T model which positions these molecules in a more natural biological configuration. The Company’s technology confers properties on the CART-cells that enable them to consistently outperform previous generations of CAR-T therapies in pre-clinical studies. As a result, this leads to enhanced T-cell potency and persistent long-term response with reduced toxicity.

Artin Moussavi, Chief Executive Officer of Leucid Bio, said: “Following on from our successful Series A financing, we are delighted to be working with Lonza and its Cocoon® Platform. This agreement will allow us to accelerate our path to the clinic, treating more patients sooner, potentially at point-of-care, and help to solve the key issues facing CAR-T therapeutics.”

John Maher, Chief Scientific Officer of Leucid Bio, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Lonza, enabling us to develop a state-of-the-art scalable manufacturing process. This will significantly help Leucid to efficiently transition our CAR-T pipeline for maximum patient benefit.”

Nicholas Ostrout, Head of Commercial Development within Personalized Medicine at Lonza, commented: “We look forward to working with Leucid to bring its revolutionary, novel cancer immunotherapies to the clinic and patients. Use of the Cocoon® Platform, coupled with the array of process development, manufacturing expertise and tools that Lonza brings, will provide a smooth route to commercial approval. By leveraging the Cocoon Platform’s unique capabilities, this collaboration aims to illustrate the promise and feasibility of manufacturing autologous immunotherapies in a decentralized model, into approved routine use.”

CAR T-cell therapy is a revolutionary technology in which the patient’s own immune cells are reprogrammed so they can recognise and destroy cancer cells. This has proven to be a powerful therapy for refractory blood cancers, but has not yet been very effective for the treatment of solid tumours.

Leucid’s LEU-011 programme is a NKG2D-targeted CAR T-cell therapy in pre-clinical development for the treatment of solid tumours and haematological malignancies. The NKG2D receptor is an activating immune receptor that triggers cell death upon recognition of human NKG2D ligands expressed on transformed, infected or damaged cells. LEU-011 has potential for the treatment of multiple cancer types as NKG2D ligands are expressed on more than 80% of human tumour cells.


About Leucid Bio

Leucid Bio is a pioneering biotech company developing cell therapies for refractory cancers, especially solid tumours. Leucid was founded to translate 20 years of King’s College London (King’s) research in the CAR-T field and is led by a highly experienced management team with both scientific and commercial expertise. As part of Leucid’s ongoing relationship with King’s, it benefits from exclusive access to and resources from the deep scientific, clinical and manufacturing expertise of Dr Maher and his academic team of immuno-oncology experts.

Leucid is headquartered in London, UK, with operations based at Guy’s Hospital with its own GMP manufacturing and clinical lab facilities, enabling it to maintain its patient-centric focus on developing better cell therapies for the benefit of individuals with hard-to-treat solid tumours. 

About the Cocoon® Platform

The Cocoon® Platform is a closed, automated system for patient-scale cell therapy manufacturing. Highly customisable and scalable, it integrates multiple steps and streamlines cell processing workflows from patient sample to final product. Protocols including isolation, activation, transduction/transfection, expansion and harvest occur in a climate controlled, validated cell manufacturing system.

About Lonza

Lonza is the preferred global partner to the pharmaceutical, biotech and nutrition markets. We work to prevent illness and enable a healthier world by supporting our customers to deliver new and innovative medicines that help treat a wide range of diseases. We achieve this by combining technological insight with world-class manufacturing, scientific expertise and process excellence. These enable our customers to commercialize their discoveries and innovations in the healthcare sector.

Founded in 1897 in the Swiss Alps, today Lonza operates across five continents. With approximately 14,000 full-time employees, we are built from high-performing teams and of individual talent who make a meaningful difference to our own business, as well as to the communities in which we operate. The company generated sales of CHF 4.5 billion in 2020 with a CORE EBITDA of CHF 1.4 billion. Find out more at www.lonza.com.

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