Hiring Underway at PsiOxus' New Facility in Philadelphia

Hiring Underway at PsiOxus' New Facility in Philadelphia June 14, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

OXFORD, England – Cancer therapeutics development company PsiOxus Therapeutics is going on a hiring spree and establishing a toehold in the United States.

This morning the England-based company announced plans to hire for facilities in England and the United States, one expanded and one new. PsiOxus recently added an additional 21,000-square-feet of space to its site in Oxfordshire, England. The company also opened a new facility in Plymouth Meeting near Philadelphia. In a statement this morning, PsiOxus said the dual expansion will allow the company to accelerate the research and development of novel immune-oncology products in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Hiring has begun for both sites, although the company did not indicate how many employees it was seeking for each facility. The company lists a number of current job openings on its website.

In the U.K., the facility located in the Abingdon Science Park in Oxfordshire will be added to the current laboratory facility at Milton Park to provide additional laboratory and office space, the company said this morning. Priya Maude, chief operating office at the company, said the “seven-fold increase in capacity” provided by the expansion will allow the company to expand as a “world-leading immuno-oncology company.”

The new Philadelphia site is the first PsiOxus facility outside of the United Kingdom, the company said. The U.S. facility will initially focus on PsiOxus business development, as well as clinical development and regulatory activities. PsiOxus’ Philadelphia facility is helmed by Charles Morris, the company’s chief development officer. He said the U.S. site will provide the company with a base to manage clinical trials and business development.

John Beadle, chief executive officer of PsiOxus, said the two facilities will help the company continue its internal R&D work, as well as enhance the company’s ability to work with global partners.

The expansion comes about six months after PsiOxus inked a $936 million oncolytic virus deal with drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb . In December 2016, BMS acquired the rights to PsiOxus’ pre-clinical stage “armed” oncolytic virus therapy NG-345 aimed at treating solid tumors. Oncolytic virus therapy utilizes modified viruses like the adenovirus that selectively replicate within tumor cells to stimulate inflammatory responses in the microenvironment. The NG-348 virus uses PsiOxus’ proprietary Tumor-Specific Immuno-gene (T-SIGn) Therapy platform to “arm” the virus with two additional immuno-therapeutic transgenes. The December deal with BMS follows a previous deal the two companies struck in June 2016 to develop enadenotucirev, its oncolytic adenovirus therapeutic .

The company’s T-SIGn platform is based on the company's oncolytic virus, enadenotucirev, which has properties that allow it to be delivered systemically via intravenous administration and to replicate only in tumor cells. According to company data, the armed T-SIGn platform can create “a broad range of systemically delivered oncolytic immune therapeutics including oncolytic viruses that express one or more antibodies, cytokines, immunomodulatory proteins, or nucleotide (RNA) based payloads.”

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