Novartis in CAR-T Patent Deal
Novartis has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with Celyad, a Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium-headquartered biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of cell therapies, for Celyad’s US patents for producing allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells. This license agreement is related to two targets currently under development by Novartis
The agreement includes Celyad’s intellectual property rights under US Patent No. 9,181,527 related to allogeneic human primary T-cells that are engineered to be T-cell receptor (TCR) deficient and express a CAR. The granted claims are not limited to specific CARs or specific methods of generating allogeneic CAR T- cells, such as genome editing or genetic engineering.
Under the agreement Celyad receives an upfront payment and is eligible to receive success based clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments. If all success-based milestones are achieved, Celyad is eligible to receive payments, including an upfront payment totaling $96 million. In addition, Celyad will receive single digit royalties based on net sales of the licensed target-associated products. Novartis has the option to extend the agreement to additional targets and/or to convert its license into an exclusive license. Celyad retains all rights to grant further licenses to third parties for the use of allogeneic CAR-T cells.
Celyad will not be involved in the development of Novartis’ CAR-T cells, but will continue to focus on the development of its own CAR-T pipeline, including its allogeneic NKR-2 T-cell immunotherapy in the European Union and US territories and in collaboration with Ono Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Osaka, Japan, which is Celyad’s partner in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.