News Feature | December 18, 2014

CMC Biologics, OncoSynergy To Co-Develop Ebola Drug Lead

By Estel Grace Masangkay

CMC Biologics announced that it has entered into agreement with OncoSynergy for accelerated process development and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) production for the investigational drug OS2966 targeting the Ebola virus.

OS2966 is designed to inhibit CD29, a major cellular adhesion receptor that is key to the progression of advanced and resistant cancer tumors. The drug received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year for the treatment of glioblastoma. According to CMC Biologics, previous trial data suggest OS2966 might be able to halt Ebola virus’ spread in the body, as CD29 seems to play a crucial part in the viral infection.

Dr. Shawn Carbonell, founder and CEO of OncoSynergy, said that the company is confident its agreement with CMC Biologics will bear fruit thanks to both companies’ capabilities. “Our experience with CMC Biologics’ cell line and process development capabilities to develop GMP material for our clinical studies in cancer has been outstanding… This performance, combined with our strong relationship and satisfaction with our project team experience, has given us the confidence to move the Ebola project forward quickly to address the current West African outbreak.”

The investigational drug against Ebola is currently undergoing studies. Planned trials in West Africa will investigate the drug’s safety, dosing, and efficacy in humans.

Global COO of CMC Biologics, Gustavo Mahler, said, “In December last year, we began working with OncoSynergy for development and GMP manufacturing of OS2966 for their IND enabling studies and clinical trials in cancer. …We were able to quickly put in place an agreement that enables aggressive timelines and provides a progressive cost-structure that benefits this global health program.”

Earlier this year, CMC also inked an agreement with biopharmaceutical firm Portola Pharmaceuticals to develop and manufacture andexanet alfa as an anticoagulant antidote for Factor Xa inhibitor-treated patients.