PPF today announces the acquisition of a 19.2% stake in Autolus Therapeutics plc, a leader in next-generation T cell programming technologies. The shares were acquired in the market through NASDAQ.
Autolus Therapeutics plc (“Autolus”) is a leader in bio T cell programming technologies and is developing a pipeline of next generation T cell therapies targeting both hematological cancers and solid tumors. Focused on the development of precisely targeted, controlled and highly active CAR-T cell products, Autolus aims to provide T cell therapies with very favourable safety profile and enhanced clinical efficacy to better recognise cancer cells, break down their defence mechanisms, and attack and kill these cells. The lead program AUTO1 is expected to enter a pivotal phase II study in patients with adult relapsed or refractory acute B lymphocytic leukemia (“adult ALL”) later this year with an anticipated filing for marketing authorisation in 2021.
With the investment into Autolus, PPF Group N.V. (“PPF”) significantly increased its commitment to the healthcare sector. Next to Autolus, PPF’s majority-owned biotechnology company SOTIO a.s. (“SOTIO”) is aiming to become a fully integrated oncology specialty pharma company. Together with SOTIO, PPF have built a biotechnology portfolio through in-house research and development, investments, acquisitions and in licensing of products with companies like NBE Therapeutics, Cellestia Biotech, Cytune Pharma or Lead Discovery Center. SOTIO is developing its proprietary dendritic cell-based cell therapy platform DCVAC and has a significant manufacturing and regulatory expertise in the domain of cellular therapies. SOTIO also recently initiated a Phase I/Ib clinical trial with its interleukin15 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. “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.”