PPF Acquires Stake in Autolus Therapeutics, Expands Cell Therapy Pipeline

September 16, 2019

The acquisition gives PPF a 19.2% stake in Autolus and provides a pipeline of cell therapy product candidates.

PPF Group, a Czech Republic-based investment firm, announced on Sept. 16, 2019 that it has acquired a 19.2% stake in Autolus Therapeutics, a London-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in next-generation T cell programming technologies.

Autolus, whose drug development is focused on precisely targeted, controlled, and highly active chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell products, is developing a pipeline of next-generation T cell therapies targeting both hematological cancers and solid tumors. The company’s lead program, AUTO1, is expected to enter a pivotal Phase II study in patients with adult relapsed or refractory acute B lymphocytic leukemia later in 2019 with an anticipated filing for marketing authorization in 2021.

With investments in both Autolus and a majority-owned biotechnology company, SOTIO, also based in the Czech Republic, PPF aims to become a fully integrated oncology specialty pharma company. With SOTIO, PPF has built a biotechnology portfolio through in-house R&D, investments, acquisitions, and in licensing of products with companies like NBE-Therapeutics, Cellestia Biotech, Cytune Pharma, and Lead Discovery Center. SOTIO is developing a proprietary dendritic cell-based cell therapy platform (DCVAC) and has 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, in a company press release. “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.”

Source: PPF Group