Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Century Therapeutics announced its acquisition of Empirica Therapeutics to leverage its iPSC-derived allogeneic cell therapies against glioblastoma (GBM).
“We are pleased to welcome the Empirica team to the Century family. Their deep expertise and unique capabilities will allow us to accelerate efforts to develop iPSC derived immune effector cell products designed to treat and potentially cure brain cancer,” said Lalo Flores, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Century Therapeutics. “GBM is a particularly aggressive, often treatment-resistant form of adult brain cancer with an average survival time of under two years. Together, we are in a stronger position to develop potentially curative cell therapies for this devastating disease.”
Empirica Therapeutics was founded by Dr. Sheila Singh, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery and Biochemistry and chief pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Jason Moffat, PhD, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and an expert in functional genomics and gene-editing platforms. The company’s science is based on a powerful integrative multi-omics platform, combined with its unique patient-derived, therapy-adapted models of recurrent GBM, that has led to the discovery and validation of novel brain tumor targets. Empirica’s cutting edge preclinical models of recurrent GBM, have demonstrated the potential of CAR-T cell therapy in GBM, as published in a May 2020 Cell Stem Cell paper.
“Our team is excited to become part of Century Therapeutics, whose iPSC-derived allogeneic cell therapies show immense potential for treating solid as well as hematologic malignancies,” said Dr. Singh. Dr. Singh served as Empirica’s CEO after co-founding the company with Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Moffat. “We look forward to combining our unique patient-based cancer models with Century’s platform to create promising treatments for the patients who need them most,” Singh said.
Janelle Anderson, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer at Century Therapeutics, shepherded the deal forming the subsidiary, which will be known as Century Therapeutics Canada and based in Hamilton, Ontario. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.