Combined Therapeutics Inc Wins $250,000 MilliporeSigma Advance Biotech Grant

Xconomy National — 

MilliporeSigma has awarded MIT spin-out Combined Therapeutics Inc. as the winner of its 2020 North America Advance Biotech Grant.

Combined Therapeutics Inc (CTx) is an early stage startup developing next generation virotherapies targeted with nucleic acids. The pre-clinical biotech aims to develop therapies to treat liver cancer using its targeted oncolytic platform.

The firm—founded by MIT professors Robert Langer and Dan Anderson, along with entrepreneur Romain Micol—was the prestigious winner of the MilliporeSigma NA Advance Biotech Grant, part of the 2020 National Xconomy Awards event.

The Advance Biotech Grant, sponsored and presented by MilliporeSigma, the life science business of Merck KGaA, looks to help resolve the challenges for emerging biotech companies in accessing the equipment, products, and services they need to discover, develop, and push the next generation of drugs to market. The rotating grant program began in 2014 and runs every six months in Europe, North America, and Asia with over €4 million ($4.7 million) having already been awarded.

Senior scientist Lauren Speciner picked up the award for Combined Therapeutics Inc. during the virtual event, and thanked MilliporeSigma in her acceptance speech.

“We’ve already had some really great discussions [with them]. They provided good input and helped us to give some solutions to some of the process issues that we’ve been having,” she told delegates. “This grant will help us to scale up quickly and create [nucleic acid based combined immunotherapeutics] and we look forward to continue working with them.”

Combined Therapeutics Inc. will receive $250,000 USD in products and services as follows:

  • $160,000 in Bioprocessing Technologies
  • $36,800 in Bioprocessing Technologies consultation in upstream and downstream processes, media optimization, Spent Media Analysis offerings, a visit to M Lab™ Collaboration Center located in Burlington, MA with dedicated support onsite, and one free classroom-based application training course
  • $40,000 in the Actives and Formulation (A&F) catalogue portfolio for biomolecule formulation (e.g., stabilizers, buffers, biodegradable polymers, lipids, etc.)—training on the Emprove® program and its advantages for the preparation of the registration process is included
  • $13,200 for a full subscription to the Emprove® Suite (access for a one-year period)

Andrew Bulpin, Head of Process Solutions at MilliporeSigma, introduced the award, explaining how the company strives to help biotech startups understand the challenges in the quest to push the next generation of drugs to market.

“Whether you operate in the field of monoclonal antibodies, and recombinant antibody, drug conjugates, vaccines, or gene therapies, our products, services, and experts are there to help you find the best way to move your molecule to the next scale faster,” he said. “Through our advanced biotech grant program, we recognize stand-out emerging biotech companies and help them navigate their path to commercialization.”

Combined Therapeutics was one three finalists from over 50 applicants. The other two finalists—Frank Jing of Tenaya Therapeutics and Tim Pelura of Respana Therapeutics—both received $10,000 in bioprocessing technologies and/or consultation.