Celsion (CLSN), Hainan Poly Pharm Sign Agreement to Manufacture Celsion’s DNA-based Vaccine

September 17, 2021 9:01 AM EDT
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Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLSN), a clinical-stage company focused on DNA-based immunotherapy and next-generation vaccines, and Hainan Poly Pharm Co. Ltd. (Shenzhen Stock Exchange 300630.SZ), a generics manufacturer dedicated to providing therapeutic-value products and services to patients and customers around the world, today announced an amendment to their existing contract manufacturing agreement to include development work for Celsion’s investigational DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine. Under the terms of the amended agreement, Poly Pharm will manufacture clinical batches and, if approved for use, will also manufacture commercial batches for Celsion’s vaccine based on its TheraPlas technology. TheraPlas underlies Celsion’s GEN-1 product and its PLACCINE vaccine technology platform.

Poly Pharm is experienced with chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC), process development and good manufacturing processes (cGMP), including process optimization and manufacturing services to help customers advance new drug development projects. Its sites and pharmaceutical compounds have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Madame Fang, chief executive officer of Hainan Poly Pharm said, “Poly Pharm is a fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical company with rich CDMO experience. Poly Pharm and Celsion have a successful cooperation on GEN-1 and have been successfully manufacturing clinical batches of GEN-1 to support Celsion’s OVATION 2 Study in advanced ovarian cancer. The GEN-1 collaboration and the DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine program demonstrate our expertise in highly cost-effective manufacturing of nucleic acid based finished drugs. We are glad that a DNA-based vaccine can be our second cooperative project. Celsion’s DNA vaccine technology platform is a promising platform as it may address global vaccine storage and distribution needs. We are pleased that Celsion has recognized Poly Pharm’s skills and dependability, especially with difficult-to-manufacture products, and we are looking forward to helping address the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

Commenting on the agreement, Michael Tardugno, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Celsion said, “This is the second plasmid DNA-based investigational new drug project with Hainan Poly Pharm. Our first collaboration is GEN-1, which incorporates a DNA plasmid encoding IL-12 into a unique nanoparticle delivery system. GEN-1 immunotherapy is being evaluated in the Phase I/II OVATION 2 Study in combination with chemotherapy for patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer. We have enjoyed a productive working relationship with Poly Pharm delivering quality product efficiently and are delighted to expand our contract manufacturing agreement with them.”

About the PLACCINE platform

PLACCINE is Celsion’s proprietary plasmid and DNA delivery technology and the subject of a provisional patent application that covers a broad range of next-generation DNA vaccines. An adaptation of the Company’s TheraPlas technology, PLACCINE is a DNA vaccine technology platform characterized by a single plasmid DNA with multiple coding regions. The plasmid vector is designed to express multiple pathogen antigens along with a potent immune modifier. It is delivered via a synthetic delivery system and has the potential to be easily modified to create vaccines against a multitude of infectious diseases, addressing:

  • Viral Mutations: PLACCINE may offer broad-spectrum and mutational resistance (variants) by targeting multiple antigens on a single plasmid vector.
  • Enhanced Efficacy: The potent immune modifiers such as cytokines and chemokines may improve humoral and cellular responses to viral antigens and can be incorporated in the plasmid.
  • Durable Efficacy: PLACCINE delivers a DNA plasmid-based antigen that can result in durable antigen exposure and a robust vaccine response to viral antigens.
  • Storage & Distribution: PLACCINE allows for stability that is compatible with manageable vaccine storage and distribution.
  • Dosing & Administration: PLACCINE is a synthetic delivery system that should require a simple injection that does not require viruses or special equipment to deliver its payload.

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