Astellas Pharma subsidiary Xyphos Biosciences and Poseida Therapeutics have announced a research collaboration and licence agreement focused on the development of new allogeneic cell therapies for cancer.

The parties will combine their cell therapy platforms to create a new convertible chimeric antigen receptors (convertibleCAR) programme.

The partnership intends to integrate the allogeneic CAR-T platform of Poseida with Xyphos’ ACCEL technology, aiming to produce two convertibleCAR product candidates that will target solid tumours.

Poseida is entitled to an upfront payment of $50m, with the potential for additional development and sales milestones plus contingency payments that could total $550m.

It also stands to gain low double-digit tiered royalties as a percentage of net sales.

Xyphos will cover the costs incurred by Poseida during the research phase and will be responsible for the development and eventual commercialisation of the products resulting from the collaboration.

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This financial arrangement follows Astellas’ strategic investment in Poseida in August 2023 to support Poseida’s strategy to redefine cancer cell therapy.

Poseida focuses on progressing cell and gene therapies that have the potential to cure certain cancers and rare diseases. Its oncology pipeline includes allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy product candidates that could significantly impact patient care.

Xyphos’s ACCEL technology platform utilises convertible chimeric antigen receptors in conjunction with MicAbodies to target tumour cells precisely.

Poseida president and CEO Kristin Yarema stated: “We are excited to expand our relationship with Astellas, where we share a vision that cutting-edge, off-the-shelf cell therapies can address significant unmet needs of patients with solid tumour malignancies.

“The agreement further reinforces the economic value of Poseida’s highly differentiated non-viral technologies and enables development in areas beyond our core pipeline focus. It also highlights Poseida’s role as the partner of choice in allogeneic CAR-T.”

In February 2024, Xyphos entered a research partnership and licence agreement with Kelonia Therapeutics to develop immuno-oncology therapeutics in an $875m deal.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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