2 mars - 16 mars
Global potential for Swedish cell therapy
Life science company Idogen is well on its way to successfully reprogramming the human immune system with tolerogenic cell therapy with the goal of preventing unwanted activation of the immune system. In the upcoming rights issue, Idogen will take in SEK 29 million to scale up production and conduct clinical studies in their first hemorrhagic disease project.
Text: Christian von Essen
Anders Karlsson has extensive leadership experience in prominent Scandinavian and international life science companies such as Allenex, CareDx and Novartis. Since August last year, Anders has served as CEO of Idogen based in Medicon Village, Lund. The company's targeted focus now is to bring its tolerogenic cell therapy to clinical trials to demonstrate its efficacy in treating severely ill patients, where there is great medical need.
–You can say that our cell therapy goes in and specifically reprograms the immune system. The treatment is intended to create a tolerance to various substances that can trigger the immune system and thus prevent the unwanted activation of the immune system.
CEO Anders Karlsson
“Our cell therapy goes in and specifically reprograms the immune system. ”
Three initial uses for our platform technology:
Patients with hemophilia suffer from a deficiency of Factor VIII, which inhibits the coagulation of blood during bleeding. In the traditional treatment of bleeding in such patients, manufactured Factor VIII is added to the blood. 25-30 percent of patients treated with synthetic FVIII develop antibodies to their vital drug. In other words, the immune system wants to harm the drug, rendering the treatment ineffective. Idogen's cell therapy has the potential to restore the effect of Factor VIII treatment by restoring tolerance.
2. Organ transplants
In organ transplantation, there is a great risk that the body will reject the transplanted organ, and therefore, these patients are treated with lifelong immunosuppressive medication. This treatment increases the risk of infections, cancer and damage to the patient's organs. Idogen's cell therapy aims to train the recipient's immune system to tolerate the transplanted organ so that it is not attacked and repelled.
3. Autoimmune diseases
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. There are over 100 autoimmune diseases of which most only have insufficiently developed treatment methods and/or expensive medications. The intention here is to prioritize the conditions where Idogen's tolerogenic cell therapy can cause the body to learn so that its own tissues are not attacked.
Begins with bleeding illness
Idogen is now preparing its cell therapy to begin the first clinical trials in 2021 with hemorrhagic patients who have developed antibodies to Factor VIII. Throughout 2020, preparatory preclinical studies and documentation of the product are underway before discussions with regulatory authorities.
– Simply put, our technology is based on filtering out a specific type of white blood cell (monocyte) from the patient and reprogramming it into dendritic cells with the intention of inducing tolerance of Factor VIII. Thereafter, the patient's reprogrammed cells are returned every three weeks to three to four times, to then induce in the body regulatory T cells that build up the patient's long-term tolerance. It is a costly and time-consuming process to develop cell therapy, but Anders Karlsson is convinced that there is socioeconomic support in Idogen's innovation.
When it comes to organ transplants, Idogen focuses on treatment in conjunction with a live donor kidney transplant.
– If you have a living donor, you can filter out cells from the organ donor well in advance of transplantation and then build tolerance for the organ of the recipient even before the surgery takes place.
A transplantation process that includes pretreatment with tolerogenic cell therapy to reduce the risk of rejection and increase organ survival can eventually increase people's willingness to donate their kidney to relatives, which has the potential to increase quality of life and save lives.
“Idogen is now preparing its cell therapy to begin the first clinical trials in 2021”
“Cell therapy is an extremely hot area that is predicted to grow in the coming years”
Patents and product development
Today, Idogen is in the midst of a very exciting development phase where it is collaborating with the world-leading Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands to manufacture the tolerogenic cell therapy to be used in future clinical studies in patients with hemorrhagic disease.
– In 2020, preclinical preparations are underway, and in 2021, we expect to be able to conduct clinical studies on patients with haemophilia.
A Swedish patent application was filed in December 2019 and Anders Karlsson is hopeful.
– If everything goes well, we can look forward to market exclusivity for 20 years until 2040.
Refills at checkout for preclinical development
In this rights issue, Idogen now raises 29 million SEK to accelerate product development and scale up production of tolerogenic cell therapy to the GMP level prior to the start of the clinical trial in 2021. In addition, the company expects to receive an additional 1.3 million euros in 2020/2021 from the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.
– Cell therapy is an extremely hot area that is predicted to grow in the coming years, and I am convinced that Idogen can take a unique position in the market. Now we will show the effect of our cell therapy on patients with haemophilia who have developed antibodies to their Factor VIII treatment. Idogen hopes to be able to contribute socioeconomic gains while creating a good quality of life for seriously ill people, concludes Anders Karlsson.
Preliminary timetable for the Rights Issue (all dates refer to 2020)
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The shareholders of Idogen have the precedence right to subscribe for shares.
One (1) existing share held on the record date of 26 of February 2020 entitles to one (1) subscription right. One (1) subscription right entitles to subscribe for one (1) share at the price of SEK 0,60.
The subscription period runs from March 2- March 16, 2020
The subscription price is SEK 0,6 SEK per share
When fully subscribed to the rights issue, Idogen is allocated approximately 29 million before issue costs. The offer is secured to 88 % through guarantee commitments.
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