Companies agree $800m deal for in vivo CAR-T cell therapy

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Astellas-owned Xyphos Biosciences and Kelonia Therapeutics have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to develop novel immuno-oncology therapeutics.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies plan to combine Kelonia’s iGPS with Xyphos’ ACCEL technology to develop in vivo CAR-T cell therapies targeting up to two programmes.

Kevin Friedman, CEO and Founder of Kelonia, said: “Combining Kelonia’s in vivo gene delivery capabilities with the ACCEL convertible CAR technology is an ideal marriage of technologies to create off-the-shelf, universal CAR-T cell therapies. We see revolutionary promise in this approach, and will work diligently with our partners at Astellas to unlock its full potential for patients that need it most.”

Xyphos will be responsible for the development and commercialisation of products created from the collaborative research.

Kelonia will receive US $40 million upfront for the first programme, and an additional US $35 million should Xyphos exercise its options for the second programme, plus potential milestones and contingency payments approaching US $800 million in total.

Additionally, Kelonia will receive R&D funding for work performed in the collaboration and is eligible for tiered royalties on net sales up to the double-digit percentage.

Adam Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer of Astellas, added: “At Astellas, we have a strong commitment to developing novel treatments for patients with cancer and have positioned immuno-oncology as a primary focus of our R&D strategy. With iGPS, Kelonia has an elegant, cutting-edge in vivo delivery technology, and by combining with the ACCEL platform, we believe the collaboration will bring synergies between the two companies’ breakthrough research and will ultimately lead to expansion of Astellas’ portfolio and to delivery of innovative in vivo CAR-T cell therapies to cancer patients.”

By DIANA SPENCER, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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