We are developing and expanding our pipeline of advanced medicines, with an initial focus on orthobiologics

Pipeline strategy

We have a unique opportunity to use our novel technologies to achieve potential disease modifying treatments, utilising a multifaceted approach eg creating the right niche for cell therapies or otherwise modulating target tissues.

Our lead program LB001 is a high value, next generation BMP-2 product for spinal fusions, which will we plan to evaluate in the clinic in 2022. LB001 has been designed to control and reduce the dose of BMP-2 (bone morphogenetic protein – 2) and provide excellent handling characteristics for open and minimally invasive surgery.

LB002 is a disease-modifying approach to degenerative disc disease (DDD), utilizing a novel combination of cell therapy and sustained anti-inflammatory activity.

We are also evaluating a number of new advanced medicine product opportunities both for in-house development and for potential third party collaborations. These include immuno-oncology approaches to solid tumours through localised cell therapy (e.g. CAR-T) and or addressing the tumour microenvironment

For more information on partnering opportunities, please see our Partnering page

Our current product development pipeline includes the following high value opportunities:

LB001 - a next generation, low dose controllable BMP-2 product for spinal fusions

Precision delivery of a bone growth-promoting osteoinductive drug (BMP-2) where a high control of release is mandated, LB001 is designed to offer improved safety and ease of use in both open and minimally invasive surgery compared to current products.

LB001 utilises Locate’s unique, patented TAOS® encapsulation technique rather than a loose attachment mechanism. This means LB001 precisely controls drug release through material degradation rather than simple diffusion. Importantly, the formulation negates the initial ‘burst’ effect typical of other BMP-2 products. 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 (osteoconduction).

LB001 brings together established drug delivery methodologies (degradable drug-loaded particles) with a unique tissue matrix to create a high-efficacy alternative to current growth factor-releasing products. Formulating the matrix with BMP-2 creates a highly osteoinductive and osteoconductive matrix capable of promoting repair in many clinically challenging scenarios. Putty-like handling whilst retaining injectability are key attributes of the product, with the benign conditions of in vivo scaffold formation maintaining drug efficacy and making enclosed sites accessible.

The lead indication for LB001 is lumbar spinal fusions. Highly encouraging in vivo results have been shown in established fusion models, and formal preclinical development will commence shortly to enable a first in man clinical study in 2022. The market for BMP-2 products in orthopaedic applications is currently worth ~$700 million per annum.

LB002 - a potentially disease modifying cell therapy based approach to degenerative disc disease

Locate is developing LB002 for use in disease modification of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), a condition impacting over 7 million patients in the US and EU5.

TAOS®-based mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) therapy has been 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, particularly in hostile environments of the body like the intervertebral disc (IVD). Employing TAOS as a delivery matrix enables the minimally invasive administration of cells to patients, within a protective and supporting structure. TAOS is also highly effective at the delivery of therapeutic agents (e.g. growth factors), consistently showing its ability to control and extend their delivery over longer periods of time. This extended release capability is particularly important in generative medicine approaches in which the target has a slow biological turnover, like the tissues of the IVDs. This uniquely allows for a combination approach to complex diseases, with the localised delivery of complementary cells and signals required to achieve a step-change in treatment outcomes. LB002 is currently in preclinical development and our goal is to demonstrated in vivo proof of concept study by mid 2021.

Immuno-oncology applications

Solid tumours represent a complex disease with high levels of redundancy and heterogeneity and the tumour microenvironment (TME) presents physical and immunological barriers to conventional drug therapy and also to new cell based approaches eg CAR-T. Our technologies provide the opportunity to deliver immune cell therapies, such as CAR-T therapies, either directly into or adjacent to the target tumour and to enhance their effects by:

• Increasing the numbers of cells within the tumour (ie increased trafficking)
• Reduce systemic exposure to therapies targeted against antigens present in healthy tissues
• Combating the tumour microenvironment (eg overcoming the immunosuppressive cues)
• Evidence also suggests that addressing primary tumours can have a positive systemic effect on secondary tumours

Furthermore, there is the opportunity to modify the TME to stimulate and enable the body’s immune system to resolve the tumour without the need for exogenous cell therapy.

Locate is working with a multidisciplinary cancer group at University of Nottingham and is open to direct collaboration and partnering with cell therapy companies.