The asset contribution agreement will see Allogene take over development of Pfizer’s allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy portfolio, including UCART19 – the lead candidate in its pact with Cellectis – and 16 preclinical assets.
Pfizer will take a 25% stake in Allogene, formed with Series A financing of $300 and led by ex-executives from Kite Pharma – including founder and former CEO, Arie Belldegrun.
Unlike autologous therapies made using a patient’s own engineered T-cells, allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies are made by engineering cells from a healthy donor for use in multiple patients.
“The allogeneic CAR T platform represents a potentially transformative approach to treating cancer, and we are very excited about what the future may hold for this area of research,” group head of Oncology R&D at Pfizer, Robert Abraham, said.
“We believe that under the strong scientific, clinical development and regulatory expertise of Allogene’s leadership team, the portfolio of CAR T assets contributed by Pfizer will be well-positioned to rapidly advance into potential innovative new therapies.”
Pfizer acquired a 10% stake in French firm Cellectis in June 2014, and gained exclusive rights to pursue development and commercialization of CAR-T therapies in oncology using Cellectis’ off-the-shelf platform.
Under terms of the Allogene deal, Cellectis remains eligible to receive clinical and commercial milestone payments of up to $2.8bn for any products that are commercialized.