Celgene, bluebird bio ink deal to jointly develop, promote CAR-T cell therapy bb2121 in US

Celgene and bluebird bio on Wednesday announced an agreement to co-develop and co-promote the latter's investigational anti-BCMA CAR-T cell therapy bb2121 for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma in the US. The companies entered into a deal in 2013 to discover, develop and commercialise therapies in oncology, which included bb2121, with the collaboration revised in 2015 to focus on treatments targeting BCMA.

Under the agreed terms, the drugmakers will hold joint responsibility for developing, manufacturing and commercialising bb2121 in the US, while the companies will equally split profits. Celgene will hold sole responsibility for development and commercialisation outside the US, with bluebird eligible for milestone payments and royalties on non-US revenue.

FirstWord reports in this therapy area - KOL Insight Multiple Myeloma: Find out how KOLs expect the market to evolve, which pipeline treatments are most promising, and which clinical trials will shape treatment decisions. Learn more.

Nadim Ahmed, president of haematology and oncology at Celgene, remarked "we are extremely pleased to advance our collaboration with bluebird on bb2121 and we believe this therapy has the potential to significantly impact the treatment approach and outcomes for patients with multiple myeloma." Celgene and bluebird are also collaborating on the development of the experimental anti-BCMA CAR-T cell therapy bb21217.  

The news comes after Celgene recently completed its acquisition of Juno Therapeutics for about $9 billion, gaining rights to the investigational CAR-T cell therapy JCARH125 against BCMA. For related analysis, read ViewPoints: Cold water on CAR-T?

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