Pfizer, Allogene Sign Pact for Cell Therapies
Pfizer and Allogene Therapeutics, a San Francisco, California-headquartered biopharmaceutical company, have signed an asset contribution agreement for Pfizer’s portfolio of assets related to allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies, an investigational immune-cell therapy approach to treating cancer. Allogeneic therapies are developed from cells of healthy donors and stored for “off-the-shelf” use in patients.
Pfizer will continue to participate financially in developing the CAR-T portfolio through a 25% ownership stake in Allogene. Separately, Pfizer continues to have an 8% ownership stake in Cellectis, a Paris-based company developing immunotherapies based on gene-edited CAR-T cells, through an equity agreement entered into in 2014.
Allogene will receive from Pfizer the rights to 16 preclinical CAR-T assets licensed from Cellectis and Servier, a Paris-based pharmaceutical company, and one clinical asset licensed from Servier, UCART19, an allogeneic CAR-T therapy that is being developed for treating CD19-expressing hematological malignancies. In partnership with Servier, UCART19 is initially being developed to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is currently in Phase I development. UCART19 uses gene-editing technology owned by Cellectis. Allogene and Servier intend to initiate Phase II studies in 2019. Under the terms of the original development agreement, Allogene will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize UCART19 in the US while Servier will retain exclusive rights for all other countries.
Allogene was founded and led by former executives of Kite Pharma, a cell-therapy company acquired by Gilead Sciences for $11.9 billion in 2017. Allogene was formed with Series A financing of $300 million from an investment consortium that included Pfizer, TPG, Vida Ventures, and BellCo Capital, among others. These five companies will be represented on the Allogene Board of Directors. Closing is expected in the second quarter of 2018, subject to closing conditions.