ImmPACT Bio Announces Completion of Merger with Kalthera to Progress Next-Generation CAR T Therapies for the Treatment of Cancer


– Enhances ImmPACT Bio’s pipeline with promising clinical candidates including bispecific CAR T-cell therapy candidate in B-cell lymphoma –

CAMARILLO, Calif., July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — ImmPACT Bio USA, Inc., a company developing novel cell therapies for treating cancer, today announced its merger with Kalthera, Inc., a biotechnology company.

Kalthera is currently progressing a clinical trial at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center with a pioneering bispecific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy candidate targeting CD19/CD20. Early results indicated the bispecific CAR T-cell candidate is safe and effective in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphoma. After a median follow up of up to nine months, six of the seven (86%) patients in the trial have ongoing complete remission.

“Results from this bispecific CAR T-cell candidate are very promising, and that is exactly why we’re so thrilled to work with the brilliant minds at Kalthera,” said Rick Kendall, Ph.D., president and CEO of ImmPACT Bio. “ImmPACT Bio is developing cutting-edge CAR T-cell platform technologies to address the key challenges for current cell therapies in oncology – including on-target off-tumor toxicities, antigen escape, and the immunosuppressive microenvironment. Kalthera’s promising clinical program and world-class CAR engineering expertise will help ImmPACT Bio move forward as a clinical-stage company and bring us one step closer to delivering new and potentially life-changing cancer therapies.”

Kalthera was founded by Yvonne Chen, Ph.D., Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D., Cristina Puig Saus, Ph.D., and Jim Johnston, Ph.D., and emerged from UCLA.

“We’re proud to join ImmPACT Bio, a company that shares our mission and provides us with the resources to better address current issues with CAR T-cell therapies. Our partnership promises to deliver safe and effective next-generation therapies to patients with cancer,” said Dr. Johnston, CEO of Kalthera. “ImmPACT Bio has a highly experienced team and a promising pipeline, and we look forward to advancing more therapies into the clinic to create value for patients.”

ImmPACT Bio is backed by OrbiMed, Novartis Venture Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Takeda Ventures, Inc., RM Global Partners (RMGP) BioPharma Investment Fund, Bukwang Pharmaceutical, Hayan Health Networks, Inc., and JVC Investment Partners.

Dr. Johnston will join the ImmPACT Bio leadership team, while Drs. Chen and Ribas, will join the Company’s scientific advisory board and Dr. Puig Saus will serve as a key consultant. Drs. Chen and Johnston will also join the board of directors of the combined company. Early next year, ImmPACT Bio plans to move into a new facility in the Los Angeles biotech hub that will support the development of manufacturing capabilities for clinical programs.

About ImmPACT Bio
ImmPACT Bio USA, Inc. is a cell therapy company aiming to develop potent and selective engineered T cells for the treatment of cancer. ImmPACT Bio is developing cutting-edge chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell technologies to address key biological challenges in treating cancer.