Pfizer Looks to Allogene to Develop Cancer Cell Therapies
Pfizer has revealed this week that it intends to take a 25% stake in Allogene Therapeutics, in order to accelerate the development of CAR-T cell therapies sources from donors instead of patients.
According to Reuters, CAR T drugs are seen as the future of cancer treatments, with a number of drugmakers looking to boost their pipeline with such drugs.
Allogene specialises in allogeneic therapies that are engineered from cells of healthy donors, allowing them to be stored for “off-the-shelf” use and reducing the time patients must wait for treatment.
“The agreement marks a shift in Pfizer’s strategy from an active role to a passive role in the CAR-T space,” explained Guggenheim analyst Tony Butler.
He went on to explain that creating therapies for blood cancers and solid tumours from allogeneic CAR T cells could be “disruptive” in the immuno-oncology space.
As a result. Allogene will receive from Pfizer rights to 16 pre-clinical CAR T assets, which are licensed from French cell therapy specialist Cellectis SA and French drugmaker Servier.
In addition, Pfizer will get a representative on Allogene’s board, but financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Mid-stage studies are expected to take place in 2019, with Allogene having the exclusive rights to develop and commercialise UCART19 in the United States. Servier will have the exclusive rights to all other countries.
As of right now, U.S. listed shares of Cellectis rose 16.2% to $35.72.