Vertex, TreeFrog Therapeutics in $780-M Pact for Cell-Therapy Mfg

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based bio/pharmaceutical company, and TreeFrog Therapeutics, a Bordeaux, France-based bio/pharmaceutical company, have formed a collaboration under which Vertex has obtained an exclusive license to TreeFrog’s proprietary cell-manufacturing technology, C-Stem, to optimize production of Vertex’s cell therapies for Type 1 diabetes, in a deal worth up to $780 million ($25 million upfront and $755 million in milestone payments).  

TreeFrog’s technology platform, C-Stem, is designed to mimic the natural microenvironment by allowing cells to grow exponentially in 3D. The technology will enhance Vertex’s ability to generate large amounts of fully differentiated cells for its portfolio of cell therapies for treating Type 1 diabetes. 

Under the agreement, TreeFrog will receive a $25-million upfront payment, an equity investment from Vertex and up to $215 million in milestones paid in connection with the development of a scaled-up process for fully differentiated islet cells. TreeFrog is also eligible to receive an additional $540 million in clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones on up to two future products and tiered single-digit royalties. Vertex will fund all research and development costs related to the collaboration. Vertex will be responsible for all development and commercialization of its cell therapies. 

Source: Vertex Pharmaceuticals