Baxalta, Precision BioSciences enter deal potentially worth up to $1.7 billion to develop CAR T-cell therapies

Baxalta on Thursday announced that it had entered into a global collaboration with Precision BioSciences potentially worth more than $1.7 billion to develop CAR-T cell therapies for multiple cancers. Under the agreed terms, Baxalta will pay Precision BioSciences an upfront payment of $105 million, with the latter eligible for additional option fees and various milestones of as much as $1.6 billion, in addition to royalties on worldwide sales.

David Meek, president of Baxalta's oncology division, remarked "combining Precision BioSciences' ARCUS technology with Baxalta's global infrastructure, expertise and growing immuno-oncology portfolio is a synergistic approach that we believe has the potential to make disruptive approaches available to people with a range of underserved cancers."

As part of the deal, the drugmakers will collaborate on the development of CAR-T therapies for up to six oncology indications, with the first programme expected to enter clinical development late next year. Precision BioSciences will hold responsibility for performing early-stage development through Phase II studies, after which Baxalta will hold an exclusive option to proceed with late-stage development and commercialisation.

Meanwhile, Precision BioSciences also holds a right to participate in the development and commercialisation of any licensed products developed in the pact through a 50/50 co-development and co-promotion option in the US. The drugmakers did not divulge additional terms of the deal or reveal the initial targets.

Baxalta noted that the collaboration follows an agreement signed last month with Symphogen potentially worth up to $1.6 billion to develop novel therapeutics against six checkpoint targets.

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