Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

bluebird bio, TC BioPharm to develop Gamma Delta CAR T cell product candidates for cancer immunotherapy

Published 08 December 2017

bluebird bio and Scottish immunotherapy company TC BioPharm have partnered and signed a license agreement on gamma delta CAR T cells.

The companies will work together to advance TC BioPharm’s lead CAR-engineered gamma delta T cell program into clinical trials as well as on additional hematologic and solid tumor targets.

“Emerging research suggests that gamma delta T cells may constitute a powerful platform for CAR T cell therapies,” said Philip Gregory, D.Phil., chief scientific officer, bluebird bio.

“TCB is a leader in the gamma delta T cell field, with extensive capabilities spanning early research, clinical development and manufacturing. The combination with our deep expertise in CAR T cell biology, translational and clinical experience with leading CAR T cell drug products, and powerful gene therapy toolbox, offers a high degree of synergy. This partnership aims to help realize the full potential of the gamma delta T cell platform to bring novel and transformative therapies to cancer patients with high unmet medical need.”

Commenting on the partnership with bluebird bio, TCB’s chief executive - Michael Leek, PhD, said, “We are delighted to be working alongside bluebird bio to discover and develop next-generation CAR T cell therapies based on our innovative ImmuniCAR® platform. Both companies share the same dynamic culture, passion and drive, spearheaded by an overwhelming desire to treat cancer patients – with the potential to dramatically improve each individual’s prognosis and quality of life.”

“We believe our gamma delta T cell platform has broad therapeutic potential,” added Artin Moussavi, PhD, chief business officer of TC BioPharm. “The collaboration with bluebird bio, a leader in cell and gene therapy, recognizes the enormous potential of ImmuniCAR® to deliver life-changing medicines.”

“bluebird bio is leveraging its industry-leading toolbox of advanced cell and gene therapy technologies to accelerate immuno-oncology targets from concept to clinic,” said Joanne Smith-Farrell, bluebird’s senior vice president, corporate development and strategy.

“The agreement with TCB complements bluebird bio’s growing immuno-oncology development program, which includes clinical and pre-clinical CAR T and T Cell Receptor programs that leverage bluebird bio’s leading translational research and deep vector technology expertise to rapidly accelerate from target identification to clinical development.”

Under the terms of the agreement, bluebird bio and TCB will collaborate to discover and develop CAR-engineered gamma delta T cells for cancer targets and indications.

TCB is responsible for development of all targets through Phase 1/2, at which point bluebird has the exclusive option to assume sole responsibility for further clinical development and commercialization on a global basis.

Financial terms of the agreement include a $16 million upfront payment and subsequent potential R&D and commercial milestone payments. TCB is also eligible to receive undisclosed tiered royalties on product sales.



Source: Company Press Release