Medicare Coverage of CAR T-Cell Therapy Holds Positive Implications for LineaRx
LineaRx, Inc. (“LineaRx”), a majority-owned subsidiary of Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the “Company”) announced that, in a decision rendered on August 7, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies that fit the CMS criteria for Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. LineaRx believes its unique method of manufacturing DNA is well poised to benefit from the increasing demand for nucleic-acid dependent therapies, like CAR T, as biotechnology companies pursue their gene and cell therapies with reimbursement assured by the CMS decision.
CAR T-based treatments involve extracting and genetically altering a patient’s T cells to attack a protein on the surface of cancer cells. The cells are then infused back into the patient. All approved CAR T and other redirected cell therapies are manufactured using DNA that is bacterially derived and then delivered to the patient’s T cells by a virus. Such plasmids-based treatments require about three weeks to grow and are acknowledged to have the potential for unintended side-effects. LineaRx offers a cleaner, potentially higher-performing alternative to plasmid DNAs with linear DNAs produced by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) that are used to reprogram CAR T cells. Applications for redirected cells are broadly anticipated with more than 850 trials globally listed on clinicaltrials.gov.
“The oncology community has greeted CAR T cell therapy with extraordinary enthusiasm, but the use of these novel therapies to combat cancer has been constrained by pricing and reimbursement. With the CMS decision, redirected cell therapies are now a permanent part of the toolbox of modern medicine, and with LineaRx, we believe we have a more desirable manufacturing process than plasmids, that will enable biotech companies to accelerate their commercialization efforts,” stated Dr. James Hayward, president and CEO of LineaRx. “With the LineaRx ability to provide massive ultrapure DNA with shorter lead times than plasmids, its manufacturing technology should enable gene therapy companies to shorten time-to-market for their therapies and in a much more cost-efficient manner. Patients will also benefit by a more rapid turnaround. Moreover, we believe that our recent acquisition of Vitatex, which just closed last week, facilitates our development of redirected cell therapies by enabling us to study the lymphocytes that we capture alongside the circulating tumor cells from the blood of cancer patients. We believe these studies will guide us toward optimal design of the engager that allows CAR T cells to recognize their host’s cancer at a molecular level.”
Full text of CMS decision: Decision Memo for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy for Cancers (CAG-00451N)
LineaRx seeks to commercialize the biotherapeutic value of Applied DNA’s deep expertise and experience in the design, manufacture and chemical modification of DNA by large scale polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”). Linear DNA is a form of DNA distinct from the circular form of DNA most commonly produced in plasmids and grown in bacteria. Plasmids are extrachromosomal DNA found in bacteria and are associated with the genes for antibiotic resistance which are often exchanged between bacteria and consequentially, are seen by many to embody a serious threat to global health. In addition, many nucleic acid-based therapies also rely on viral vectors for efficient transfection and expression of plasmid DNA. These viral vectors carry additional nontrivial risks and are extremely time consuming and expensive to manufacture. Go to www.adnas.com for more information on LineaRx and to learn more about how Applied DNA makes life real and safe. LineaRx is a majority-owned Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: APDN) company.
About Applied DNA Sciences
Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping and pre-clinical nucleic acid-based therapeutic drug candidates.
Applied DNA makes life real and safe by providing innovative, molecular-based technology solutions and services that can help protect products, brands, entire supply chains, and intellectual property of companies, governments and consumers from theft, counterfeiting, fraud and diversion.
Common stock listed on NASDAQ under the symbol APDN, and warrants are listed under the symbol APDNW.
The statements made by Applied DNA in this press release may be “forward-looking” in nature within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe Applied DNA’s future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of Applied DNA. Actual results could differ materially from those projected due to the risk that the acquisition will not be successfully integrated with LineaRx or that the potential benefits of the acquisition will not be realized, the Company’s history of net losses, limited financial resources, limited market acceptance , the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including whether any of Applied DNA’s product candidates will advance further in the preclinical research or clinical trial process, including receiving clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies to conduct clinical trials and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final approval from the U.S. FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, ability to maintain its NASDAQ listing in light of delisting notices received and various other factors detailed from time to time in Applied DNA’s SEC reports and filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on December 18, 2018, as amended, and our subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed on February 7, 2019 and May 9, 2019, and other reports we file with the SEC, which are available at www.sec.gov. Applied DNA undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date hereof to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, unless otherwise required by law.