Astellas, Bellicum Partner for CAR T Therapies

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Astellas Pharma Inc. report that Agensys, Inc., an affiliate of Astellas, and Bellicum have entered into a global license agreement, granting Bellicum rights to develop and commercialize adoptive cell therapies, including CAR-T cells, for tumors expressing prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) using PSCA technology, both in-licensed and developed at Agensys.

Under the terms and conditions of the license agreement, Agensys will receive an upfront license fee, and is eligible for clinical and sales milestones, as well as single-digit royalties on the sales of any products developed pursuant to the license. Astellas or Agensys retains the option for commercialization of any product targeting PSCA based on Bellicum's CAR-T cell technology (e.g., BPX-601) in Japan. If the option is exercised, Bellicum would receive an option fee from Astellas or Agensys, and the amount for certain clinical and sales milestones to be paid to Agensys would be reduced. Bellicum would also receive royalties from Astellas or Agensys based upon sales of such product in Japan.

PSCA is a cancer antigen expressed in many malignancies, including prostate, pancreatic, bladder, esophagus, and gastric cancers. Bellicum is developing BPX-601, a GoCAR-T product candidate targeting PSCA that has demonstrated robust anti-tumor activity in preclinical studies. GoCAR-T is a proprietary Bellicum technology in which an MC (MyD88/CD40) molecular switch is designed to enable pharmacologic control over the activation, proliferation. and persistence of the GoCAR-T cells in a patient.

Source: Astellas Pharma

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