Small-Cap Firm Century Therapeutics' Expands into Autoimmune Diseases, Analyst Says Clade Therapeutics Acquisition Intriguing

Zinger Key Points
  • Century Therapeutics plans to pursue additional autoimmune disease indication regulatory filings in 2024.
  • While expanding CNTY-101's application is strategic, the company must watch out for Nkarta's upcoming CD19 CAR-NK trial.

Thursday, Century Therapeutics IPSC unveiled plans to expand clinical development for its lead program, CNTY-101, a CD19-targeting iNK cell therapy, into additional autoimmune disease indications

CNTY-101 is currently being evaluated in a clinical trial in B-cell malignancies (ELiPSE-1) as well as a planned trial in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (CALiPSO-1), which is on track to be initiated in the first half of 2024. 

Century Therapeutics plans to pursue additional autoimmune disease indication regulatory filings in 2024. 

The company announced a $60 million private placement to support Century Therapeutics’ increased R&D activities in autoimmune diseases. 

Century will issue approximately 15.87 million shares at $3.78. The company estimates that its cash, cash equivalents, and investments will support operations into 2026.

Concurrently, Century announced pipeline and platform enhancements through the acquisition of Clade Therapeutics Inc., a privately held biotech company focused on discovering and delivering engineerable, off-the-shelf, scalable, and consistent stem cell-based medicines with a focus on iPSC-derived αβ T cells. 

The acquisition brings additional iPSC-focused pipeline programs and technology to Century, spanning cancer and autoimmune diseases.

$35 million deal value includes a mix of cash and shares. An additional one-time milestone payment of $10 million will be due upon the achievement of a future clinical milestone.

William Blair finds Century Therapeutics’ acquisition of Clade intriguing because it broadens Century’s iPSC platform, pipeline, and expertise to include αβ iT cell programs, which have been more difficult to develop than NK and gamma delta T cells. 

Expanding CNTY-101 to treat additional autoimmune diseases gives Century more opportunities and broadens its application beyond SLE, which faces increased competition. 

However, William Blair notes that while expanding CNTY-101’s application is strategic, competition from Nkarta Inc NKTX, which is starting a CD19 CAR-NK trial with reduced lymphodepletion, suggests Century may need to adjust its current lymphodepletion regimen to stay competitive. 

William Blair maintains that Century’s valuation appropriately reflects its product development stage and the competitive landscape.

Price Action: IPSC shares are up 7.14% at $4.05 on the last check Thursday.

Photo by Louis Reed via Unsplash

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