Autolus Terapeutics plc (“Autolus”) is a leader in bio T cell programming technologies and is developing a pipeline of next generation T cell therapies targeting both hematological cancers and solid tumors. Focused on the development of precisely targeted, controlled and highly active CAR-T cell products, Autolus aims to provide T cell therapies with very favorable safety profile and enhanced clinical efficacy to better recognize cancer cells, break down their defense mechanisms, and attack and kill these cells. The lead program AUTO1 is expected to enter a pivotal phase II study in patients with adult relapsed or refractory acute B lymphocytic leukemia (“adult ALL”) later this year with an anticipated filing for marketing authorization in 2021.
With the investment into Autolus, PPF Group N.V. (“PPF”) significantly increased its commitment to the healthcare sector. Next to Autolus, PPF’s majority-owned biotechnology company SOTIO a.s. (“SOTIO”) is aiming to become a fully-integrated oncology specialty pharma company. Together with SOTIO, PPF have built a biotechnology portfolio through in-house research and development, investments, acquisitions and in licensing of products with companies like NBE-Therapeutics, Cellestia Biotech, Cytune Pharma or Lead Discovery Center. SOTIO is developing its proprietary dendritic cell-based cell therapy platform DCVAC and has a significant manufacturing and regulatory expertise in the domain of cellular therapies. SOTIO also recently initiated a Phase I/Ib clinical trial with its interleukin-15 superagonist SO-C101.
“We are very excited by our investment into Autolus. The data published by Autolus on their CAR-T programs is very promising and their long-term ambitions are a perfect match with PPF’s strategy in healthcare,” said Ladislav Bartonicek, shareholder of PPF responsible for the biotechnology sector. “Our investment in Autolus confirms the long term commitment of PPF and SOTIO to build a strong biotechnology portfolio developing a broad range of its own oncology products and investing in various biotech companies with promising new therapies.”