US-based gene therapies company bluebird bio has entered a strategic collaboration and licence agreement with Scottish immunotherapy firm TC BioPharm to develop new cancer immunotherapy candidates.
The firms will focus on the discovery of next-generation liquid and solid tumour therapeutics based on gamma delta CAR T-cells.
In addition to TC BioPharm’s CAR-engineered gamma delta T-cell programme, the firms plan to advance various hematologic and solid tumour targets into clinical trials.
TC BioPharm chief business officer Artin Moussavi said: “We believe our gamma delta T-cell platform has broad therapeutic potential.
“The collaboration with bluebird bio, a leader in cell and gene therapy, recognises the enormous potential of ImmuniCAR to deliver life-changing medicines.”
TC BioPharm will be responsible for the development of all identified targets through Phase I/II, while bluebird exercises an exclusive option for their clinical development and commercialisation.
bluebird bio corporate development and strategy senior vice-president Joanne Smith-Farrell said: “bluebird bio is leveraging its industry-leading toolbox of advanced cell and gene therapy technologies to accelerate immuno-oncology targets from concept to clinic.”
According to bluebird, the deal is set to support its expanding immuno-oncology development programme of CAR T and T-Cell Receptor products that utilise the firm’s expertise on translational research and deep vector technology.
The agreement entails $16m upfront and subsequent potential research and development (R&D), as well as commercial milestone payments.
With operations in UK and Japan, TC BioPharm forms strategic alliances with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and research institutions to develop advanced cell therapies.