Partnering News: Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics & GSK 

A roundup of bio/pharmaceutical partnering news from Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics/Bayer’s BlueRock Therapeutics/Opsis and GSK/Elegen. 

* Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Bayer’s BlueRock, Opsis, in Retinal Disease Drug Licensing Pact 
* GSK, Elegen In Cell-Free DNA Mfg Technology Pact 

Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Bayer’s BlueRock, Opsis, in Retinal Disease Drug Licensing Pact 
Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, a developer and manufacturer of human cells used in drug discovery, toxicity testing, stem-cell banking, and cell-therapy development, and Opsis Therapeutics, a joint venture of Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics and co-founder David Gamm, M.D., Ph.D., have announced an agreement granting Bayer’s BlueRock Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bio/pharmaceutical company, an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize a cell-therapy candidate for treating human retinal diseases.  

BlueRock Therapeutics exercised its option to exclusively license OpCT-001, a cell therapy for human retinal diseases. Following the option exercise by BlueRock Therapeutics, Fujifilm and Opsis received an undisclosed license fee and are eligible to receive payments upon achievement of certain development and commercial milestones. 

OpCT-001 is the first induced pluripotent stem-cell (iPSC) therapy candidate to be licensed from the strategic research and development alliance that the companies formed in 2021 to discover and develop off-the-shelf iPSC-derived cell therapies for ocular diseases. The strategic alliance grants BlueRock the exclusive option to license three retinal cell-therapy programs focused on dry-age-related macular degeneration and inherited retinal diseases. 

Source: Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics 

GSK, Elegen In Cell-Free DNA Mfg Technology Pact 
GSK and Elegen, a San Carlos, California-based DNA manufacturing company, have entered a collaboration and licensing agreement to enable GSK the use of Elegen’s cell-free DNA manufacturing technology in the development of GSK’s vaccines and medicines. 

Commercially launched in March of last year (2023), Enfinia DNA delivers linear DNA up to 7 kilobases in seven business days, according to Elegen. Unlike conventional synthesis of mRNA from linearized plasmid DNA, Elegen notes its DNA is produced entirely cell-free. 

The terms of the agreement include upfront fees, up to $35 million in near-term financial and development support and fees, and purchase commitments of Elegen’s Enfinia DNA to support GSK’s development of medicines and vaccines, including RNA vaccines. Elegen is also eligible to receive both near-term milestone payments relating to the development of new product features and a potential equity investment in Elegen by GSK.  

Source: Elegen