TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Augmenta Bioworks, Inc. Enter Into a Worldwide Joint Development Agreement for COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapies
TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFFP), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Augmenta Bioworks, Inc., a biotechnology company enabling breakthroughs in medicine through immune profiling, today jointly announce that both companies have entered into a worldwide Joint Development and Collaboration Agreement to develop novel commercial products incorporating Augmenta’s human-derived monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for potential COVID-19 therapeutics.
Under the terms of the Agreement, both companies will collaborate in a Joint Development Project to develop one or more commercial therapeutics based on, derived from, and/or incorporating Augmenta’s human monoclonal antibodies to potentially treat patients with COVID-19. These products will be developed utilizing TFF Pharmaceuticals’ Thin-Film Freezing technology to manufacture dry powder formulations of these specific mAbs for inhalation delivery directly to the lungs of patients. The Agreement also includes the development of formulations suitable for parenteral administration, where the Thin Film Freezing dry powder formulations can be reconstituted, potentially mitigating the impacts of cold-chain storage and handling. TFF Pharmaceuticals will also have the option to develop two additional Augmenta mAbs for indications other than COVID-19.
Augmenta Bioworks and TFF Pharmaceuticals will allocate patent license rights to their respective technologies to allow each company to jointly commercialize the products developed under the Joint Development Project. The companies have agreed to a 50-50 split of all costs and expenses to further the Joint Development Project and both companies have agreed to the same 50-50 split of all revenues, cash payments and/or future cash payments related to the sale and/or license of the products resulting from the Joint Development Project to a third party.
“This important agreement represents the culmination of many months of work by our scientific team, as we work towards the development of a never-before-achieved formulation of monoclonal antibodies into a dry powder therapeutic,” said Glenn Mattes, CEO, of TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “It is a testament to the remarkable flexibility and capability of our Thin Film Freezing platform and we are eager to develop these potentially breakthrough mAb therapies internally, along with our other programs in Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis, solid organ transplant anti-rejection, and botanicals.”
“Confirmed discovery of novel anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies in 8 days was an achievement made possible by years of technology development, and a clear indication of the power and potential of our platform,” said Christopher Emig, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Augmenta Bioworks, Inc. “We are excited to enter this partnership to bring our COVID-19 treatment into clinical development, and are looking forward to the world’s first effective, affordable and scalable antibody therapeutic to mitigate the devastating effects of this disease.”
“We believe the interest in monoclonal-antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 is extremely high, with the promise that they will harness the immune system’s natural response to viral invaders,” said Robert O. Williams III, Ph.D., Division Head of the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery and inventor of TFF Pharmaceuticals’ Thin Film Freezing technology.
“The challenge becomes in the delivery of these very large, complex molecules via injection, which does not reach directly to the initial site of infection - the deep lung area. Liquid injections are also subject to all the attendant difficulties of cold chain handling and storage, potentially limiting their use to only areas in the developed world,” continued Williams. “In this collaboration with Augmenta, the first-of-its-kind use of Thin Film Freezing technology applied to monoclonal antibodies has the potential to mitigate both of these challenges and lead to a therapy that is more effective and easier to deliver to a global community.”
In June 2020, the companies entered into a Feasibility and Material Transfer Agreement under which Augmenta Bioworks supplied various mAb product materials to TFF Pharmaceuticals for compatibility and feasibility testing. TFF Pharmaceuticals was successful in formulating dry powder formulations of the Augmenta mAbs, which exhibited superior aerosol properties for lung delivery. Based on this successful formulation work and confirmatory in-vitro testing, which included viability testing, binding testing and neutralization testing, both parties agreed to pool their efforts and resources through a Joint Development Project, and collectively move the dry powder mAb products into pre-clinical and toxicology studies with the goal of further advancement of these dry powder mAbs into human testing in the clinic.
About Augmenta Bioworks
Augmenta Bioworks is a venture-backed biotechnology company leveraging immune profiling technologies to enable breakthroughs in medicine. Through its DeepGridTM and SingleCyte Technologies, Augmenta profiles human immunity at unprecedented scale and speed, shrinking new drug discovery timelines from years to days. The company's platform utilizes the latest software, automation, microfluidics, high throughput DNA sequencing, and scalable computational analysis to identify immune receptors and their antigen specificity. The results are therapeutics derived from natural human immunity. The company works through partnerships in antibody discovery (infectious disease), cell therapy development (oncology), and other advanced research (auto-immunity).
About TFF Pharmaceuticals’ Thin Film Freezing technology platform
TFF Pharmaceuticals’ Thin Film Freezing (TFF) platform was designed to improve the solubility and absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs and is particularly suited to generate dry powder particles with properties targeted for inhalation delivery, especially to the deep lung, an area of extreme interest in respiratory medicine. The TFF process results in a “Brittle Matrix Particle,” which possesses low bulk density, high surface area, and typically an amorphous morphology. allowing the particles to supersaturate when contacting the target site, such as lung tissue. Based upon laboratory experiments the aerodynamic properties of the particles are such that the portion of a drug deposited to the deep lung has the potential to reach as high as 75 percent.
About TFF Pharmaceuticals
TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative drug products based on its patented Thin Film Freezing, or TFF, technology platform. Early testing confirms that the TFF platform can significantly improve the solubility and absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs, a class of drugs that comprises approximately one-third of the major pharmaceuticals worldwide, thereby improving their pharmacokinetics. TFF Pharmaceuticals has two lead drug candidates: Voriconazole Inhalation Powder and Tac-Lac Inhalation Powder. The Company plans to add to this pipeline by collaborating with large pharmaceutical partners. The TFF Platform is protected by 42 patents issued or pending in the US and internationally. To learn more about TFF Pharmaceuticals and its product candidates, visit the Company’s website at https://tffpharma.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including the benefits of the Company’s TFF platform and its dry powder versions of Voriconazole and Tacrolimus, the potential development of one or more dry powder mAbs through its collaboration with Augmenta Bioworks and the Company’s plans to add to its existing pipeline of product candidates and license its technology to other third-parties. Those forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Among those factors are: (i) the risk that results obtained in dry powder formulation and in vitro testing of the Augmenta mAbs may not be indicative of results obtained in future preclinical or clinical trials; (ii) the risk that TFF Pharmaceuticals’ dry powder formulation of the Augmenta mAbs may not advance through the preclinical development and clinical trial process on a timely basis, or at all; (iii) the risk that the results of such trials will not warrant submission for approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies; (iv) the risk that TFF Pharmaceuticals and Augmenta may not be able to successfully conclude clinical testing or obtain pre-market approval of their dry powder versions of the Augmenta mAbs, (v) the fact that no drug product incorporating the TFF platform has received FDA pre-market approval or otherwise been incorporated into a commercial drug product, (vi) TFF Pharmaceuticals has no current agreements or understandings with any large pharmaceutical companies for the development of a drug product incorporating the TFF Platform, and (vi) those other risks disclosed in the section “Risk Factors” included in the TFF Pharmaceuticals’ 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 26, 2020. TFF Pharmaceuticals cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. TFF Pharmaceuticals does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur, except as required by law.