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
Revenues for the half-year to June totalled $8.4m, representing a 21% increase over the same period of 2018 ($6.9m) as the Life Sciences customer base continued to grow.
Gross margins remained strong over the period at 88%. Cash at the end of June was US$11.5mln.
In October, MaxCyte Inc’s technology for engineered cell mechanisms was licensed to Nasdaq-listed genome specialist Editas Medicine.
Through the non-exclusive deal, Editas has clinical and commercial rights to MaxCyte's Flow Electroporation platform and ExPert tools to develop up to five therapies including four in immuno-oncology.
These include EDIT-301, an experimental Crispr medicine designed to durably treat sickle cell disease and blood illness beta-thalassemia.
In return, MaxCyte will receive development and approval milestones and sales-based payments alongside outside licensing fees.
What the boss says - Doug Doerfler:
"Editas Medicine as it is at the forefront of developing engineered cell medicines that have the potential to change the course of disease for many patients.
"This agreement is also a significant business milestone for MaxCyte as we continue to invest in our technology platform and help support companies at the leading edge of cell therapy and gene editing to develop medicines for patients in need,"
- 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
- More than 80 cell therapy programmes including Kite, CRISPR Therapeutics and Precision BioSciences of which more than 45 are now licensed for clinical use
- Aggregate potential milestone payments from commercial cell therapy agreements nearly doubled year-to-date to in excess of US$450m from five commercial licenses
“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.