Deep diveHealth

Maxcyte fighting cancer battle on two fronts via experimental targeted treatment and technology licensing deals


In May 2019, Maxcyte saw the second cohort of patients begin dosing in a phase I trial using its lead MCY-M11 cancer immunotherapy

Cancer cells

Quick facts: MaxCyte

Price: £1.22

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £69.9 m
  • Developing experimental targeted treatment for cancer

  • First patient dosed in initial phase I trial in October 2017

  • Second cohort for MCY-M11 began dosing in May 2019

  • 21% increase in revenues to US$8.4mln in first half of 2019


What MaxCyte does:

MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) is developing an experimental targeted cancer treatment but also licenses out the technology to larger biotechs and pharma companies, including the international giant Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:GILD), to aid their discovery process.

It is involved with 70 programmes, of which half are at the clinical stage of development.

MaxCyte’s CARMA platform is being used to develop some of the first drug candidates that use the company’s own immune system to fight solid tumours.

Its lead candidate, MCY-M11 is what’s known as a chimeric antigen receptor, CAR therapy, which gives T-cells the new ability to target a specific protein.

T-cells are part of the immune system and circulate around our bodies, scanning for cellular abnormalities and infections.

MCY-M11 is a mesothelin targeting CAR that will be used to treat ovarian cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma, which forms around the tissue lining of the womb.

How is it doing:

In a trading update on 17 July, MaxCyte said it had made “significant progress” both clinically and commercially in its first half, generating revenues of US$8.4mln via licensing deals, up 21%.

The company also launched a next-generation suite of instruments and disposables called ExPERT, which have received “positive feedback and strong interest” from existing and new customers.

Turning to its efforts in the clinic, MaxCyte’s researchers are currently carrying out a phase I trial MCY-M11, which is being given to people with very hard to treat cases of ovarian cancer peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen.

The first 15 patients in the dose escalation trial have been treated and in May the team started administering the drug to a second group, or cohort.

“Successfully completing patient dosing in our first cohort and initiating dosing in a second higher-dose cohort are important milestones for MaxCyte, representing tangible progress for our lead CAR therapeutic and our proprietary CARMA autologous cell therapy platform,” said chief medical officer Claudio Dansky Ullmann said in May.

“We are very excited about the potential of MCY-M11 as a new, effective therapeutic in solid tumours where the majority of patients still have very limited treatment options.”

Interim results from the company are expected on the week of September 16.

What the boss says - Doug Doerfler:

“We look forward to providing a more detailed update at our half year results in September 2019, and on our continued progress throughout the second half of the year".


Inflexion points:

  • In May, the group began dosing a second cohort of patients in the phase 1 trial of MCY-M11
  • The company at the start of May exhibited its CARMA cell therapy platform at an industry conference in Washington DC

Blue Sky:

“Our core markets, cell therapy and immuno-oncology, continue to expand rapidly as do applications for gene-editing technologies in the development of various therapies for the treatment of inherited genetic diseases and a number of cancers,” Doerfler said in April.

“MaxCyte has established itself as a world leader in non-viral cell engineering - offering a rapid and efficient means of delivering the future generation of cell-based therapies, which is underlined by recent commercial and research partnerships with leading biotech companies including Kite.”

He added: “This is a very exciting time for the Company and our team, and we expect 2019 to be a pivotal year for MaxCyte.”

With the shares trading at 122p as of 7 August 2019, MaxCyte carries a market cap of £70.1mln.

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