Astellas Pharma plans to invest $50m in Poseida Therapeutics to acquire exclusive negotiation and first refusal rights for licencing P-MUC1C-ALLO1 in solid tumours.

Of the total investment, $25m would be part of a one-time payment and the other half is to be spent buying about 8.8% of Poseida’s common stock (approximately eight million shares valued at $3 each) in a private placement, as per the 7 August press release.

The news led to an elevated level of trading activity for Poseida’s stock and a rise of about 32.5% in the stock price when the market opened on 7 August, compared to the market close on the previous working day.

P-MUC1C-ALLO1 is an allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy that targets cancer-specific forms of Mucin 1 protein (MUC1-C). It is currently under investigation in an open-label multicentre Phase I clinical trial (NCT05239143) treating multiple epithelial-derived solid tumour indications.

Poseida has a strategic licencing agreement with Roche, which is valued at up to $6bn. The deal grants Roche exclusive rights to multiple CAR-T cell therapies targeting haematological conditions that are part of Poseida’s portfolio.

CAR-T cell therapies have been identified as the fastest-growing therapy area in oncology by GlobalData, with their value reaching $25bn by 2028. Multiple pharma companies like Janssen have signed licencing agreements for these CAR-T cell therapies.

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Astellas has entered into multiple licensing and development agreements this year including one with Kate Therapeutics for KT430 gene therapy for the treatment of a rare neuromuscular disease, a drug development agreement for the discovery and development of multiple targeted protein degraders with Cullegen, and a research agreement with Veneno Technologies for drug discovery of functional peptides for various indications.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva. Editorial content is independently produced and follows the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Topic sponsors are not involved in the creation of editorial content.