WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SQZ Biotechnologies (NYSE: SQZ), a cell therapy company developing novel treatments for multiple therapeutic areas, announced today that it will present new data on the company’s scaled cGMP cell therapy manufacturing program at the 2021 American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy Virtual Annual Meeting (ASGCT) from May 11-14. The company will also present findings on the performance advantages of cells engineered through its proprietary Cell Squeeze® Technology.
“There is tremendous therapeutic need for faster and more efficient delivery of impactful cell therapies to patients around the world,” said Armon Sharei, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at SQZ Biotechnologies. “Through our manufacturing and therapeutic development programs, we strive to transform the current cell therapy paradigm and are excited to share our progress at ASGCT.”
Rapid, Scaled cGMP and Aseptic Manufacturing Program Data
Company scientists will present new data on its proprietary Cell Squeeze® manufacturing technology demonstrating its ability to rapidly and reproducibly deliver cell therapy doses at scale. The presentation will show that the company’s cGMP and aseptic manufacturing program can process 10 billion cells per minute with greater than 90 percent cell viability. The company is delivering its first investigational drug (SQZ-PBMC-HPV) utilizing this core technology for its Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with Human Papillomavirus positive (HPV+) tumors.
“The company’s cell therapy manufacturing program has proven in our Phase 1 trial its ability to deliver reproducible investigational drug batches rapidly and at scale,” said Howard Bernstein, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at SQZ Biotechnologies. “Our advances in cell therapy manufacturing will potentially enable multiple therapeutics across oncology, infectious disease, and immune disorders to be developed and delivered to a broad patient population.”
Cell Performance Advantages
Additionally, in a poster presentation, company scientists assessed the use of Cell Squeeze® technology to deliver pre-complexed CRISPR/Cas9 RNPs to achieve multiplex-edited primary human T cells. When comparing the functional effects of the Cell Squeeze® technology to the commonly used electroporation approach, the authors found significant differences in transcriptional changes between the two treatments. Cells treated with electroporation corresponded with aberrant cytokine production, potentially resulting in premature T cell exhaustion. SQZ™ treated T cells, however, did not have disrupted transcriptional profiles or cytokine production and readily expanded post treatment with robustness similar to untreated cells.
“This work highlights the advantages of using the Cell Squeeze® technology for cell engineering,” said Jonathan Gilbert, PhD, Vice President of Exploratory Research at SQZ Biotechnologies. “We demonstrate preclinically a clear distinction in cell performance with the ability to achieve multiple, distinct gene edits with more viable and functional cells.”
ASGCT Presentation Titles and Timing
SQZ cGMP Manufacturing Presentation
Title: Effective and Efficient Intracellular Delivery Achieved with the Cell Squeeze® Technology Enables Rapid, Scaled, and Reproducible Production of Cell Therapies
Presenter: David Chirgwin
Session Title: Advances in Ex Vivo Modified Cell Therapies
Abstract Number: 4
Date & Time: Tuesday, May 11 from 6:15 - 6:30 PM EST
SQZ Multiplexed Gene Editing Poster
Title: Advantages of the Cell Squeeze® Technology for Multiplex Gene Editing
Presenter: Jacquelyn Hanson, PhD
Session Title: Cell Therapies
Abstract Number: 769
Date & Time: Tuesday, May 11 from 8:00 - 10:00 AM EST
About SQZ Biotechnologies
SQZ Biotechnologies is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformative cell therapies for patients with cancer, infectious diseases, and other serious conditions. Using its proprietary technology, SQZ Biotechnologies offers the unique ability to deliver multiple materials into many patient cell types to engineer what we believe can be an unprecedented range of potential therapeutics for a variety of diseases. SQZ Biotechnologies has the potential to create well-tolerated cell therapies that can provide therapeutic benefit for patients and to improve the patient experience over existing cell therapy approaches. With accelerated production timelines under 24 hours and the opportunity to eliminate preconditioning and lengthy hospital stays, our goal is to use the SQZ™ approach to establish a new paradigm for cell therapies. Our first therapeutic applications aim to leverage the potential to generate target-specific immune responses, both in activation for the treatment of solid tumors and immune tolerance for the treatment of unwanted immune reactions and autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.sqzbiotech.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements relating to scientific events and presentations, our product candidates, preclinical and clinical activities, development plans, application across indications, clinical efficacy, manufacturing capability and therapeutic impact. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to several risk factors. Such factors include, among others, risks and uncertainties related to our limited operating history; our significant losses incurred since inception and expectation to incur significant additional losses for the foreseeable future; the development of our initial product candidates, upon which our business is highly dependent; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations and clinical activities; our need for additional funding and our cash runway; the lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process of clinical drug development, including uncertain outcomes of clinical trials and potential delays in regulatory approval; our ability to maintain our relationships with our third party vendors; and protection of our proprietary technology, intellectual property portfolio and the confidentiality of our trade secrets. These and other important factors discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements represent management's estimates as of this date and SQZ undertakes no duty to update these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, the occurrence of current events, or otherwise, unless required by law.
Certain information contained in this press release relates to or is based on studies, publications, surveys and other data obtained from third-party sources and our own internal estimates and research. While we believe these third-party sources to be reliable as of the date of this press release, we have not independently verified, and we make no representation as to the adequacy, fairness, accuracy or completeness of any information obtained from third-party sources.