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Novellus Therapeutics Exclusively Licenses Induced Mesenchymal Stem Cells (iMSCs) to NoveCite for COVID-19 Related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Other Acute Respiratory Conditions

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- Novellus's iMSCs are derived from a single donor using its patented mRNA-based, footprint-free cell reprogramming technology

- iMSCs overcome the significant challenges of limited supply and low potency associated with donor-derived MSCs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Novellus Therapeutics ("Novellus"), an engineered cellular medicines company, announced today that it has licensed its induced mesenchymal stem cells (iMSCs) on a worldwide basis to NoveCite, Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Citius") (Nasdaq: CTXR), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing critical care drug products. NoveCite will develop and commercialize Novellus's iMSCs to treat acute respiratory conditions with a near term focus on Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome ("ARDS") associated with COVID-19. Novellus is a 25% equity holder in NoveCite. Novellus received a $5 million upfront payment, and is eligible to receive up to $51 million in development milestone payments, as well as low double-digit royalties.

Novellus Therapeutics
Novellus Therapeutics

Novellus Therapeutics Exclusively Licenses Induced Mesenchymal Stem Cells (iMSCs) to NoveCite

iMSCs are a next-generation cell therapy product created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with the following advantages:

  • Created using a patented non-immunogenic mRNA cell reprogramming process

  • Derived from a single donor and produced from a clonal, perpetual master cell bank

  • Streamlined manufacturing process enables near-unlimited supply

  • Superior immunomodulatory protein secretion compared to donor-derived MSCs

"Novellus's iMSCs have the potential to be a breakthrough in the field of cellular therapy for acute respiratory conditions because of their high potency as demonstrated in our pre-clinical studies, as well as our ability to cost-effectively provide high doses and repeat doses." said Myron Holubiak, CEO of Citius.

"We are excited to be developing iMSCs because of their promise to save lives and reduce long term sequelae in patients with devastating respiratory diseases such as ARDS caused by COVID-19," said Matt Angel, Chief Science Officer of Novellus. He continued, "Our iMSCs have multimodal immunomodulatory mechanisms of action that make them promising for treatment of acute respiratory diseases."

About Novellus Therapeutics Limited
Novellus is a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company developing engineered cellular medicines using its patented non-immunogenic mRNA, high-specificity gene editing, mutation-free & footprint-free cell reprogramming and serum-insensitive mRNA lipid delivery technologies. Novellus is privately held and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit www.novellustx.com.

About NoveCite, Inc.
NoveCite, Inc. is a newly formed subsidiary of Citius Pharmaceuticals, a late-stage specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and commercialization of critical care products, with a focus on anti-infectives and cancer care. For more information, please visit www.citiuspharma.com.

Contact: john.westman@novellustx.com


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SOURCE Novellus Therapeutics