Imperial Innovation's Cell Medica treats first paediatric patient in clinical trial of Cytovir ADV

04:36 EDT 8 May 2013 | BioPortfolio

Imperial InnovationMay 8th 2013: Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’ or ‘the Group’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, announces that portfolio company Cell Medica, a biotechnology company developing cellular therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer has commenced treatment of the first patient in its ASPIRE Trial.

The ASPIRE Trial is an early stage Phase I/II clinical study investigating the safety and efficacy of Cell Medica’s Cytovir™ ADV cell therapy, for the treatment of adenovirus infections in immunosuppressed paediatric patients following bone marrow transplant  ation. These patients are highly vulnerable to serious infections for three to six months after the procedure and certain high risk groups have a mortality risk of up to 30% in patients developing adenovirus infections. No drug is currently approved for the treatment of adenovirus infections in this patient group.

Cytovir ADV is comprised of naturally occurring white blood cells (T cells) which demonstrate an immune response when exposed to the adenovirus. The ASPIRE Trial will explore whether these adenovirus-specific T cells can be infused in paediatric patients to reconstitute immediate and long-lasting immunity against the virus, thereby potentially avoiding the medical costs, hospitalisation and mortality associated with adenovirus infections in this patient group.

The ASPIRE Trial, which is a collaboration between Cell Medica, UCL Institute of Child Health and the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, will include up to 15 patients and is expected to complete in early 2015. The Chief Investigator is Dr. Waseem Qasim of the UCL Institute of Child Health and the project is funded in part by a grant from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.

Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said:

"This is excellent progress from the team at Cell Medica, a company that is a key part of our healthcare portfolio. We firmly believe in the potential for cell therapy to make a difference to the issue of infections amongst immunosuppressed patients and are proud that Cell Medica is working alongside such respected bodies as the UCL institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Technology Strategy Board.”

Gregg Sando, CEO of Cell Medica, said:

“Treating our first patient in this trial is an important milestone in our development of Cytovir ADV. We are expanding our cell therapy solutions to include two of the most important viral infections in patients following bone marrow transplantation.

“The clinical research partnership with the UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital has allowed us to identify a high risk group of paediatric patients who could gain particular benefit from an effective and non-toxic antiviral treatment. Both this, and the support of the Technology Strategy Board, are great endorsements of the potential of our therapies.”


Imperial Innovations +44 (0)20 7594 6589
Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer 
Terry Nicklin, Director of Communications
Gavin Reed, Marketing Assistant

Cell Medica +44 (0) 20 7554 4070
Gregg Sando, Chief Executive Officer

College Hill  +44 (0)20 7457 2020
Adrian Duffield/Rozi Morris/Melanie Toyne Sewell/Tim Watson 

J.P. Morgan Cazenove  +44 (0)20 7742 4000
Michael Wentworth-Stanley/Paul Park

Notes to editors

Imperial Innovations -

Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment.  It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise.

Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:

  • leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages
  • providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products
  • providing operational expertise
  • helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members

Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London; and Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL supported by its collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business.  These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.

By raising £140 million in January 2011, Innovations has been able to accelerate the making of, and increase the size of its investments.  In the year to 31 July 2012, Innovations invested £37.9 million (2011: £35.1 million) in 29 ventures, and made 11 investments in new companies.

In its current portfolio of 78 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative treatments for a wide range of allergies; and Nexeon, a battery materials and licensing company which develops silicon anodes which extend the life and increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. 

Cell Medica –

Cell Medica is a cellular therapeutics company engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of T cell immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of infections and cancers related to oncogenic viruses. The Company’s lead cell product, CytovirTM CMV, for the treatment and prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in patients following allogeneic bone marrow transplant, is available in the UK and is under development in other territories.  Cytovir ADV is being developed for the treatment of adenovirus infections in paediatric patients following bone marrow transplantation.   Cell Medica is also working with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, to develop CytorexTM EBV for the treatment of malignancies associated with the oncogenic Epstein Barr Virus.


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