Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (Applied DNA or the “Company”), a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing and nucleic acid-based technologies, announced the publication of a study in Molecular Therapy: Methods and Clinical Development on a methodology for the manufacture of novel types of CAR constructs that employ the Company’s LinearDNA™ as part of a manufacturing process for the efficient generation of CD19-specific CAR T-cells (CAR19 T-cells) based on co-electroporation of a LinearDNA transposon and mRNA encoding of piggyBac transposase. PCR-produced LinearDNA is manufactured by LineaRx, the Company’s majority-owned subsidiary, to serve as a pure, fast, and flexible alternative to plasmid DNA (pDNA) for biotherapeutic applications.
The study, titled “Enzymatically produced piggyBac transposon vectors for efficient non-viral manufacturing of CD19-specific CAR T cells”, details the utility of LinearDNA in the cost-effective production of preclinical CAR T cells. Its authors, members of the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (ÚHKT) in Prague, Czechia, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Charles University, also in Prague, propose that the combination of LinearDNA and a transposon/transposase system offers therapy developers an effective research tool for making experimental CAR T cells rapidly and efficiently without the need for complicated virus production or the use of pDNA.
Pavel Otáhal, contributing author and Head of the Gene Immunotherapy Research Department at ÚHKT, stated, “Our study compares the manufacture of CAR19 T-cells via PCR-made transposon DNA (LinearDNA) with mRNA encoding of the transposase against a conventional plasmid approach. We found CAR T efficacy of the LinearDNA system versus the plasmid system to be identical. Further, we found no mutations in the coding sequence of LinearDNA and with >99% purity that obliviated the need for purification typical of a plasmid approach. As an institution dedicated to diagnosing and treating serious blood diseases and with the ability to pursue investigational medicines from development to manufacture and clinical trial for patients who have exhausted all approved treatment options, having a cost-effective and rapid production chain is integral to ÚHKT’s mission. We find LinearDNA to be an excellent platform for CAR T-cell therapy development.”
Dr. James A. Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA, said, “The clinical successes of CAR T-cell therapy against blood cancers have been impressive, though limited by the complex production of viral vectors that are currently needed for T-cell genetic transformation and the use of pDNA. These manufacturing complexities have likewise hindered research on CAR T-cell therapies. As described in the publication, the use of LinearDNA, coupled with non-viral transfection systems, we believe, overcomes many of the existing manufacturing complexities associated with pDNA and viral vectors, thereby offering therapy developers a rapid and cost-effective tool for manufacturing preclinical CAR T cells. The authors’ findings as it relates to LinearDNA coincide with the industry’s growing interest in alternatives to pDNA for CAR T-cell therapies with approximately 50% of recent CRO orders coming from CAR T cell developers.”
The detailed study write-up can be found at: Molecular Therapy: Methods and Clinical Development, the leading journal for research in the areas of gene transfer, vector development and design, stem cell manipulation, development of gene-, peptide-, protein-, oligonucleotide-, and cell-based therapeutics to correct genetic and acquired diseases, vaccine development, preclinical target validation, safety/efficacy studies, and clinical trials.
About LineaRx, Inc., and LinearDNA™
LineaRx seeks to commercialize the biotherapeutic value of Applied DNA’s deep expertise and experience in the design, manufacture, and chemical modification of DNA by large-scale polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) via its LinearDNA Platform.
The LinearDNA Platform is a proprietary large-scale PCR-based manufacturing platform that allows for the large-scale production of specific high-fidelity DNA sequences. Unlike plasmid-derived DNA, LinearDNA is free of adventitious DNA sequences and can be chemically modified to optimize the DNA for specific applications. The LinearDNA platform is currently being used by customers to manufacture DNA as components of in vitro diagnostic tests and for preclinical nucleic acid-based drug development in the fields of adoptive cell therapies (CAR T and TCR therapies), DNA vaccines (anti-viral and cancer), RNA therapies, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-based (CRISPR) therapies and gene therapies, as well as the Company’s COVID-19 veterinary vaccine candidate.
About Applied DNA Sciences
Applied DNA is commercializing LinearDNA™, its proprietary, large-scale polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”)-based manufacturing platform that allows for the large-scale production of specific DNA sequences.
The LinearDNA platform has utility in the nucleic acid-based in vitro diagnostics and preclinical nucleic acid-based drug development and manufacturing market. The platform is used to manufacture DNA for customers as components of in vitro diagnostic tests and for preclinical nucleic acid-based drug development in the fields of adoptive cell therapies (CAR T and TCR therapies), DNA vaccines (anti-viral and cancer), RNA therapies, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) based therapies, and gene therapies. Applied DNA has also established a COVID-19 diagnostic and testing offering that is grounded in the Company’s deep expertise in DNA.
The LinearDNA platform also has non-biologic applications, such as supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology. Key end-markets include Gov/Mil, textiles, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, and cannabis, among others.
The Company’s common stock is listed on NASDAQ under ticker symbol ‘APDN,’ and its publicly traded warrants are listed on OTC under ticker symbol ‘APPDW.’
Applied DNA is a member of the Russell Microcap® Index.
The statements made by Applied DNA in this press release may be “forward-looking” in nature within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe Applied DNA’s future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of Applied DNA. Actual results could differ materially from those projected due to, its history of net losses, limited financial resources, limited market acceptance, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including whether any of Applied DNA’s or its partner’s therapeutic candidates will advance further in the preclinical research or clinical trial process, including receiving clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies to conduct clinical trials and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final or conditional approval from the FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, the unknown outcome of any applications or requests to FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, whether results from preclinical studies will be predictive of the results of later preclinical studies and clinical trials, the unknown ability to manufacture the therapeutic grade DNA in large quantities, the fact that there has never been a commercial drug product utilizing PCR-produced DNA technology approved for therapeutic use, and various other factors detailed from time to time in Applied DNA’s SEC reports and filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on December 17, 2020 and Form 10-Q filed on February 11, 2021, May 13, 2021 and August 12, 2021 and other reports we file with the SEC, which are available at www.sec.gov. Applied DNA undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, unless otherwise required by law.