Locate’s technologies have a wide range of potential clinical applications, both individually and also together as a system.
Our initial product focus has been on orthopaedics indications and these include:
TAOS® incorporating an undisclosed antibiotic for the treatment of osteomyelitis. This lead programme, which is expected to be on the market in 2020, is partnered with an undisclosed orthopaedics company and has validated the TAOS platform.
The global bone and joint infections therapeutics market is growing rapidly due the rise in the prevalence and diagnosis of bone and joint infections and the increasing use of antibiotics for the treatment of such infections. Orthopaedic surgical infections currently result in over 1,000 patient deaths annually. The complications with systemic administration of antibiotics, the questionable efficacy of some local administration strategies, the limited selection of antibiotics that are heat stable (for PMMA impregnation), and the costs associated with treatment all drives the need for an alternative method of antibiotic delivery for infected bone.
TAOS® with antibiotic provides an opportunity to precisely control drug release rates (as, unlike other systems, it is degradation controlled), has the added advantage of optimally supporting or promoting the patient’s own bone in-growth, and avoids the complications associated with permanent implants.
Precision delivery of a bone growth-promoting osteoinductive drug, where a high control of release is mandated. Designed to offer ease of use, safety and efficacy and cost of goods advantages over current products.
TAOS® precisely controls drug release through material degradation rather than simple diffusion. Sustained release profiles can be pre-determined, and the formulation negates the initial ‘burst’ effect typical of other depot release systems, which creates both cost and safety issues. The material then assists in new tissue and blood vessel formation, acting as a substrate upon which the host can rebuild new structural and functional elements.
TAOS® BMP-2 brings together established drug delivery methodologies (degradable drug-loaded particles) with a unique tissue scaffolding to create a high-efficacy alternative to current growth factor-releasing products. Formulating the matrix with BMP-2 creates a highly osteoinductive matrix capable of promoting repair in many clinically challenging scenarios. Injectability is a key attribute of the product, with the benign conditions of in vivo scaffold formation maintaining drug efficacy and making enclosed sites accessible.
TAOS®-based stem cell therapy which is designed to alleviate issues of high cell death and post-transplant migration with non-TAOS® stem cell approaches.
Successful cell therapy requires not only sufficient numbers of transplanted cells, but also their post-transplantation survival. Employing TAOS® as a delivery matrix enables the minimally invasive administration of cells to patients, within a protective and supporting structure.
Bone-forming cell therapies have major potential in the treatment of a number of bone conditions with current unmet needs. They offer an approach that both initiates bone formation through the newly administered cells and amplifies the natural healing process through signalling pathways. A first generation of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-containing products (collectively termed “cellular bone matrices” or CBMs) have been quick to capture market share. This despite being crudely prepared donor extracts with supply limitations (being harvested from cadavers), variable results and inconclusive clinical outcomes.
Locate’s product will refine both the cellular and matrix components to offer a step change in product sophistication and performance. TAOS® OrthoCell will use expanded allogeneic (i.e. off-the-shelf) MSCs, delivered in an injectable format and at a higher cell dose that possible with the current first wave of products.
TAOS® OrthoCell has been specifically tailored to adhere high densities of MSCs, which are then able to further expand and freely develop bone–forming properties. The porous structure of TAOS® has also been modified for this use, with the development of porous pellets that maximize the availability of large pores that are required for effective bone cell function.
Uses IntraStem technology to rejuvenate patient’s own cells before being implanted using TAOS®. Which is being developed to rectify poor healing capacity in disadvantaged patient groups.
Certain patient populations have a further drastic need for improved therapies. For example, diabetes patients suffer from a higher likelihood of protracted or incomplete bone healing. A major contributor here is that the condition affects the proliferative capacity of the patient’s MSCs, which results in bone fusion failure rates as high as 40%. Similar challenges arise in elderly patients and smokers.
Locate’s IntraStem technology will be used to deliver mRNA to patient’s own (“autologous”) cells in order to correct a key deficiency e.g. by transiently stimulating their proliferation without genetic modification. After rapid expansion, the cells will be re-administered into the patient using TAOS®, as per TAOS® OrthoCell.
New pipeline opportunities
Locate is exploring regenerative medicine opportunities in heart, brain and other major tissues for both TAOS® and IntraStem™
IntraStem™ provides additional product opportunities, as it has a broad range of potential applications including gene therapy and ex vivo cell therapy modification and offers major advantages over current approaches.
Locate is currently evaluating a number of new product opportunities for in-house development and for potential third party collaborations.
For more information on our current development pipeline and for future product opportunities, please see our Partnering page.