Biosymphony Model for Biosimilars Development & Commercialization

Our BioSymphonyPlatform is designed to address the technical challenges and regulatory dynamics of the complex biologics industry by developing high quality mAb biosimilars on an accelerated timeline and in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The BioSymphony Platform, driven by our entrepreneurial culture, leverages our fully integrated in-house 66,000 square foot development and manufacturing facility and our team’s clinical and regulatory expertise. For our biosimilars portfolio, we believe this model enables significant pricing flexibility, providing us with competitive advantages, and positions us to be a leading biosimilar company. At the same time, we are able to offer these integrated capabilities to create low-cost contract service solutions for our CDMO partners.  The key elements of our BioSymphony Platform are depicted in the figure below.  

MAb development presents high technical hurdles, and the success of our development efforts is dependent on an experienced and knowledgeable workforce. We were founded by a team of industry veterans, with decades of cumulative experience in biologics development and commercialization. Our team has been instrumental in obtaining global regulatory approval for multiple complex biologics at leading multinational biopharmaceutical companies. We have hired accomplished scientists, engineers and business leaders since our inception, who together foster an entrepreneurial culture that has enabled agility, teamwork and rapid decision-making at Oncobiologics. Together, this has resulted in a highly collaborative approach, which has been critical to efficient and sustainable operation of our BioSymphony Platform.

The model is comprised of the following elements:

In-House Development Capabilities

We have established a research and development laboratory, which we believe enables the rapid development of high-quality mAb biosimilars. By establishing this infrastructure in-house, we have shortened the typical time required to perform the mandatory interdisciplinary iterative steps to develop mAb biosimilar products, which we believe reduces the cost of development. Our platform provides us with a differentiated approach to the following compulsory steps required to develop biosimilars:

  • Reference Product Characterization and Cell Line Development:  We initially reverse engineer the amino acid sequence and identify the critical quality attributes of the reference product that in turn provides the criteria for the clone selection process. We utilize automated technologies to enable thousands of clones to be screened in an accelerated timeline.

  • Bioprocess: We utilize high-throughput mini bioreactors to assess the screened clones and media components to determine which clone and process will produce a biosimilar candidate with the closest match to the reference product. We have developed a platform of chromatography techniques that are strategically combined to maximize product-yield while meeting the critical quality attributes of the reference product.

  • Formulation: The formulation that best preserves the stability of the biosimilar candidate may be different than the actual formulation of the reference product. We use high-throughput techniques to screen and evaluate many formulation variations to identify the most effective stable formulation.

  • Analytical Characterization and In Vitro Similarity: We utilize numerous advanced analytical techniques and instruments to enable us to interpret the chemical and structural similarity between our biosimilar candidate and the reference product. We apply a rigorous analytical approach to characterize attributes such as structure (primary, secondary and tertiary), size and glycosylation, among others. We test up to approximately 60 quality attributes with approximately 45 analytical methods. The biological characterization assays support establishing the in vitro similarity. Our in-house capabilities provide an expeditious and thorough assessment of biochemical, biophysical and functional attributes.

To pursue development and commercialization of additional mAbbiosimilar candidates, we are expanding our development capacity by an additional 82,000 square feet in our current industrial complex. We intend to build-out additional state-of-the-art development infrastructure, which we will occupy in phases as needed. We also plan to add to our scientific team as our development programs expand.

In-House Manufacturing Capability

We have established a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility capable of simultaneously producing multiple biosimilar candidates. Our manufacturing platform utilizes single-use technology, including the use of the largest single-use bioreactor available, which eliminates the need for rigorous cleaning and sterilization procedures, and related operational requirements necessary for manufacture in traditional stainless-steel based facilities. We have been able to construct single-use based antibody manufacturing plants in approximately four months as compared to the few years required for de novo biotechnology manufacturing facilities. We have developed and execute a quality system that meets U.S. and EU standards and have successfully completed two Qualified Person, or QP, audits resulting in cGMPdeclaration for both Phase 1 and Phase 3 manufacturing. We plan to expand the manufacturing capacity in our current location in 2018 to support our new contract development and manufacturing business and our future pipeline needs.

Development-Manufacturing Integration

We believe we have successfully and seamlessly unified our development capabilities and manufacturing processes to minimize time lapses and risks that are frequently encountered in drug development. Our internal processes eliminate the need to transfer technology and processes to third-party manufacturers. Technology transfers are commonly performed through formal procedures consisting of the transfer of know-how, followed by manufacturing process gap assessments, and then finally replication and scale-up of the development process at manufacturing scale. These technology transfer proceedings can take upwards of six months or longer, and could have an adverse effect on product quality. Our platform gives us the ability to initiate manufacturing within approximately six weeks of process development completion.

Regulatory and Clinical Approach for a Successful Global Launch

The regulatory requirements for the development of complex biosimilars are significantly different from those for novel biologic therapeutics. These biosimilar regulatory expectations are still evolving with new drafts and final guidance being made public by regulatory authorities worldwide. Due to the limited number of biosimilar regulatory approvals and developing guidance, prior regulatory feedback may not reflect the current expectations of the applicable regulatory authorities. We have developed a global regulatory risk mitigation strategy that we believe allows us to ask the right questions at the right time, enables us to ask probing questions to explore regulatory boundaries, provides the potential to set precedence and assures alignment with regulatory authorities. We believe the key prongs to this strategy include: checking in at certain key milestones to confirm continued acceptability, adjusting our programs with an understanding of evolving requirements, approaching key health authority agencies to discuss development plans and reviewing regulatory guidance and published information.

Our interactions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and European Medicines Agency, or EMA, provide us with a better understanding of relevant regulatory requirements and build our overall regulatory knowledge base for other upcoming product candidates. We augment these interactions by meeting with key health authorities, selected based on known expertise with biotechnology products or the established rapporteur to the reference product. These additional interactions are used to provide national input for risk mitigation for the clinical trial applications and also additional expert input on our development programs. This knowledge creates efficiencies in our development program by reducing the need to duplicate experiments or clinical trials. We have retained regulatory consultants in other countries to obtain advice on how to approach the regulatory agencies to optimally design our global development plans to meet the relevant local and regional regulatory requirements.

An important aspect of our regulatory development strategy is to design our confirmatory trials to maximize the potential commercial success in order to meet the requirements for extrapolation to other indications and to enable us to seek an interchangeability designation for at least some of our current and future product candidates. Our goal is to develop trial designs that will enable us to extrapolate to all approved indications without additional clinical data. We will also assess the ability for our product candidates that are either self-administered or used chronically in order to seek an interchangeability designation, which allows substitution for the reference product by a pharmacist without the intervention of the healthcare provider who prescribed the reference product. We may also develop trial designs to demonstrate clinical advantages of our biosimilar product candidates over reference products.

Data from in vivo animal studies may not be required to initiate human clinical trials for biosimilars, and as such we only conduct animal studies if it is deemed necessary to meet regulatory requirements or to address safety questions. Our approach to confirm that there is no clinically meaningful impact of any observed analytical differences is to conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers, followed by a single Phase 3 confirmatory clinical trial in a sensitive population. Based on regulatory guidance as well as our recent interactions with regulatory bodies, we believe this approach will continue to be acceptable to the regulatory bodies. Because regulatory bodies generally do not require a repeat of the original efficacy and safety trials, we continue to explore the potential of novel approaches to trial design that can confirm similarity in shorter duration of treatment and/or with smaller patient numbers, which can result in shortened timelines to registration. In certain cases, we may even be able to demonstrate that our biosimilar product candidates are more effective or safer than the reference products

Our People and Culture

MAbdevelopment presents high technical hurdles, and the success of our development efforts is dependent on an experienced and knowledgeable work-force. We were founded by a team of industry veterans, with decades of cumulative experience in biologics development and commercialization at some of the leading biopharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly and Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Pfizer, Inc., or Pfizer, and Genentech, Inc. Our leadership team has built a platform with the goal of expeditiously identifying, developing, manufacturing and commercializing mAbbiosimilars in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We have fostered a culture of agility, collaboration and efficient decision-making with a focus on scientific rigor, which we believe forms the core of our BioSymphonyPlatform.