- Specializes in developing cell-based technologies and manages stem-cell banks and clinical laboratories.
- Creates proprietary diagnostic and therapeutic products leveraging regenerative medicine and exosome technology
- Engaged in strategic partnerships with Weill Cornell Medical College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, GE Healthcare and a major hospital network in China
What Avalon Globocare does:
Via its two platforms, Avalon Cell and Avalon Rehab, the company also develops proprietary diagnostic and therapeutic products leveraging regenerative medicine and exosome technology. It markets proprietary exosome isolation systems and related products to hospitals.
In layman’s terms, exosomes are akin to powerful messengers (tiny, membrane-bound vesicles) released by cells into biofluids like plasma/serum, urine, and saliva.
Avalon says exosomes, which carry cellular proteins and genetic material, can help fight the progression of certain cancers and act as biomarkers to detect tumors through liquid biopsy tests.
The Freehold, New Jersey-based company has also developed proprietary cancer immunotherapy called CAR-T, short for chimeric antigen receptor therapy. CAR-T involves genetically modifying T-cells, specifically manufactured for each individual patient, to activate the body’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
Avalon’s lead CAR-T therapy is AVA-001, designed to treat relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The company has also sealed several strategic partnerships: with Weill Cornell Medical College to co-develop technologies and bio-production of CAR-T therapies; a research and licensing agreement with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop technology for cellular therapy; and with GE Healthcare to enhance standardized automation and bio-production for cellular medicines
How’s it doing:
Avalon is a young company. It was founded less than three years ago. But 2019 is proving to be its most active yet as the company seeks to grow organically through old-fashion marketing efforts as well as through collaborations and partnerships, with a strong emphasis on China.
In fact, this past June Avalon made a big splash at the Second International Aesthetic Industry Conference in Chengdu, China.
CEO David Jin unveiled the launch of the company’s new commercialization plan for its exosome products and led a session on "Application of Stem Cell Exosomes.” Yu Zhou, the co-CEO of another Avalon subsidiary, GenExosome Technologies, provided the conference’s keynote address. And the company highlighted its series of skincare and wound-healing products that use clinical-grade tissue-specific exosomes as additives.
Avalon also is nurturing its CAR-T business in China, led by the company’s wholly-owned US subsidiary, Avactis Biosciences.
Avactis is tasked with bio-manufacturing, standardization and bio-banking at the Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Avalon’s chief affiliated clinical facility located on the outskirts of Beijing. The hospital has completed over 300 cases of CAR-T therapy. The subsidiary also provides collaborative research and training programs for clinicians and scientists involved in the therapy.
Avalon is also involved with another Chinese hospital -- Beijing Stomatologica. Its subsidiary, Genexosome Technologies, is working with the hospital to develop the first saliva-based biomarker as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for oral cancer.
This dovetails with a company study showing that the topical application of exosomes released from modified human stem cells can deter the progression of premalignant oral leukoplakia to form oral cancer. Oral leukoplakia is a precancerous lesion that indicates “increased risk” for the development of oral cancer.
And Avalon is conducting the first-in-human clinical CAR-T study for relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma using its AVA-001 therapy at both the Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital and Beijing Lu Daopei Hospital in China, the world’s single largest CAR-T treatment network with over 600 patients.
To fund its exosome and CAR-T businesses as well as general operations, Avalon in April raised $6 million via a directing offering to institutional investors.
Avalon said it is developing a clinical-grade, exosome-based therapeutic candidate, AVA-202, and plans to initiate international, multi-centered clinical studies of vascular diseases and wound healing, including treatment of diabetic foot ulcer, during the fourth quarter of 2019.
The company has said its proprietary, transposon-based, multi-targeted CAR-T candidate AVA-101 will enter the pre-clinical process development and validation phase during the third quarter of 2019.
The company has further developed a novel therapeutic candidate AVA-201 for oral cancer. The company plans to launch the first-in-human clinical trial for AVA-201 during the fourth quarter of 2019 with the expectation that the company will move toward a regulatory filing in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Avalon also said it could launch the first-in-human clinical trial of this next-generation of safer and more efficacious CAR-T candidate during the first quarter of 2020.
What the boss says:
“By the second half of this year, we are going to put out the first series of products of clinical-grade (stem cell-derived) exosomes for commercialization,” Avalon CEO Dr David Jin told Proactive Investors in June.
“I am very excited about this series of innovative products because we can use these for hair growth and skincare ... This is a breakthrough in the regenerative therapeutic area,” he added.