Amyris, Inc., a leading synthetic biotechnology company accelerating the world to sustainable consumption through its Lab-to-Market operating platform, and ImmunityBio, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, today announced the completion of a previously announced joint venture agreement to accelerate the commercialization of a leading next-generation COVID-19 vaccine.
Amyris and ImmunityBio combine important vaccine technology and manufacturing capabilities in the joint venture. Upon completion of successful human trials and regulatory approval, the joint venture’s goal is to start delivering the second generation vaccine in 2022 as soon as is practically possible with a goal of delivering immunity for COVID-19 and access to underserved parts of the world where current vaccine technology is challenged due to cost and supply chain limitations.
“We are pleased to combine our expertise in human trials, T-Cell technology and our access to RNA manufacturing capacity with the Amyris and Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) RNA technology platform and Amyris’ adjuvant technology,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ImmunityBio. “Combined we have a real opportunity to provide true immunity against COVID-19 variants along with a platform that can quickly adapt to a future potential respiratory virus. We are focused on completing human trials and delivering vaccines in 2022.”
“Combining our RNA technology with ImmunityBio’s expertise and access has the potential to significantly accelerate and de-risk our time to market for a much-needed second generation COVID-19 vaccine,” said John Melo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amyris. “We are very pleased with the progress our teams have made in the short time we’ve been working together and remain focused on completing successful human trials as quickly as possible.”
“Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that next-generation vaccines will be required to put the pandemic behind us,” said Corey Casper, M.D., MPH and Chief Executive Officer of IDRI. “Vaccines that are accessible to every person across the globe, broad in their protection against current and future variants of concern, and invoke durable protective immunity are now within our reach. The ability to ‘mix and match’ vaccine platforms through this new joint venture and ImmunityBio’s multiple COVID vaccine platforms represents one of the most exciting approaches to ending COVID-19.”
Amyris is a leading synthetic biotechnology company, transitioning the Clean Health & Beauty and Flavors & Fragrances markets to sustainable ingredients through fermentation and the company’s proprietary Lab-to-Market™ operating platform. This Amyris platform leverages state-of-the-art machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence, enabling the company to rapidly bring new innovation to market at commercial scale. Amyris ingredients are included in over 20,000 products from the world’s top brands, reaching more than 300 million consumers. Amyris also owns and operates a family of consumer brands that is constantly evolving to meet the growing demand for sustainable, effective and accessible products.
ImmunityBio is a leading late-clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing next-generation therapies that drive immunogenic mechanisms for defeating cancers and infectious diseases. The company’s broad immunotherapy and cell therapy platforms—including Antibody cytokine fusion proteins, synthetic immunomodulators, vaccine technologies (hAd5 viral vector, mRNA, recombinant protein, and adjuvant), and genetically-modified, off-the-shelf natural killer cells (autologous and allogenic cytokine-enhanced memory NK cells)—activate both the innate (natural killer cell and macrophage) and adaptive (T cell) immune systems to create long-term “immunological memory.”
ImmunityBio’s clinical pipeline consists of 21 clinical trials—13 of which are in Phase II or III development—across 12 indications in solid and liquid cancers (including bladder, pancreatic, and lung cancers) and infectious diseases (including SARS-CoV-2 and HIV). Anktiva™, ImmunityBio’s lead cytokine infusion protein, is a novel interleukin-15 (IL-15) superagonist complex and has received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track Designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for BCG-unresponsive CIS non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).