Exosomes carry payloads like proteins or RNAs from one cell to another. It's an emerging but rapidly growing specialty in drug manufacturing—one in which CDMO giant Lonza has just made big moves to increase its footprint.
Lonza snapped up Codiak Biosciences' exosome manufacturing facility in Massachusetts in a deal that includes $65 million of "in kind" manufacturing services. Codiak's engEx platform turns drug molecules into exosomes in order to selectively deliver treatments to target tissues and reduce toxicity.
As part of the deal, Lonza gets global access and sub-licensable rights to Codiak’s exosome manufacturing technology, while Codiak retains its pipeline of therapeutic candidates and some engineering and drug-loading technologies related to exosomes. The two companies also said they will establish a Center of Excellence for the development of exosome production and analytics technologies.
Additionally, Lonza announced Tuesday it acquired Exosomics, an extracellular vesicles biotech group, for an undisclosed price. Lonza has been a minority shareholder in Exosomics, which is based in Siena, Italy, since 2017.
“Exosomes are emerging as a new modality for advanced therapies and could become the next frontier in biotherapeutics,” Alberto Santagostino, a senior vice president for Lonza, said in a statement.
Although still relatively new in the industry, exosome technology has made strides in the last five years. Codiak, which debuted in 2015, has two therapies in clinical studies—exoSTING for metastatic, recurrent solid tumors and exoIL-12 for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The company said it plans to file a third investigational new drug application to the FDA by the end of the year.
Codiak went public just a little over a year ago, bringing in $83 million in an initial public offering that came in just short of its $100 million target.