Astellas invests in CAR-T cell therapy for solid tumours

CAR-T cells attack cancer cells

Astellas Pharma will invest $50 million into Poseida Therapeutics to secure the rights to the company’s cancer CAR-T cell therapy for solid tumours, which is currently in Phase I trials.

The total $50 million will include $25 million to acquire 8,333,333 shares of common stock of Poseida and a one-time $25 million payment for first refusal to license allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy P-MUC1C-ALLO1.

Poseida has granted Astellas a board observer seat, which includes the ability to attend Poseida’s scientific advisory board meetings, and certain notice rights related to any potential change of control of Poseida.

Adam Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer, Astellas, said: “We believe that this investment fits strategically with our long-term vision of expanding our capability in immuno-oncology and will ultimately lead to the development of new therapeutics for patients in need of cancer immunotherapy.”

Astellas’ portfolio includes oncolytic viruses, bispecific immune cell engagers, small molecules, and cell therapy platforms. Poseida has a broad pipeline of allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy product candidates for both solid and liquid tumours.

“We are excited to enter this strategic relationship with Astellas, a premier biopharmaceutical company that shares our long-term vision that cell and gene therapies represent an exciting growth area for the development of innovative medicines for improving patient care,” commented Mark Gergen, Poseida’s Chief Executive Officer.

Poseida believes P-MUC1C-ALLO1 has the potential to treat a wide range of solid tumours derived from epithelial cells, such as breast, ovarian, colorectal, lung, pancreatic and renal carcinomas, as well as other cancers expressing a cancer-specific form of the Mucin 1 protein, or MUC1-C. P-MUC1C-ALLO1 is designed to be fully allogeneic, with genetic edits to eliminate or reduce both host-vs-graft and graft-vs-host alloreactivity.

Edited by Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, Drug Discovery World

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