Bellicum, Astellas Pharma partner on cancer therapy research
Bellicum's research centers around Prostate Stem Cell Antigen (PSCA), which has been proven through previous studies to have tumor-fighting properties.
"PSCA is an attractive target for our CAR-T cell technology, and the license agreement allows Bellicum to advance BPX-601 into a number of cancers where there is a significant unmet medical need," Bellicum President and CEO Thomas Farrell said. "We look forward to the expected advancement of BPX-601 into clinical development in the first half of 2016 for the initial target indication of pancreatic cancer."
Dr. Kenji Yasukawa, Astellas chief strategy officer, agreed.
"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Bellicum whose breakthrough technology has high potential to advance innovative cancer immune cell therapies," he said. "With this license, we expect to provide a new therapeutic option to cancer patients as early as possible with the benefit of the two companies’ technologies. This collaboration is one piece of our strategy in cancer immunotherapy, where Astellas is actively engaged, and we will continue to make aggressive investments in the field of cancer immunotherapy including cancer cell therapies."
The agreement gives Agensys an upfront license fee as well as eligibility for clinical and sales milestones and royalties. The company will also keep the option of any PSCA-based product commercialization.
Organizations in this story
Astellas Pharma US, Inc. 1 Astellas Way Northbrook, IL 60062