Bristol Myers Squibb and Century Therapeutics to Collaborate on Developing iPSC-derived Allogeneic Cell Therapies

The collaboration between Bristol Myers Squibb and Century Therapeutics will combine Century’s iPSC-derived allogeneic cell therapy platform with Bristol Myers Squibb’s expertise in cell therapy and oncology drug development.

Bristol Myers Squibb announced on Jan. 10, 2022 that it has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with Century Therapeutics, a US-based biotechnology company, to develop and commercialize up to four induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived, engineered natural killer cell (iNK) and/or T cell (iT) programs for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

The first two programs include one in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and another in multiple myeloma. These programs could incorporate either the iNK or a gamma delta iT platform. Under the agreement, Bristol Myers Squibb has the option to add two additional programs, which can be nominated depending on certain conditions being met in the agreement.

Also under the agreement, Century will be responsible for development candidate discovery and preclinical development activities. Afterwards, Bristol Myers Squibb will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization activities subject to Century’s co-promotion rights on certain programs. Century will receive a $100 million upfront payment, and Bristol Myers Squibb will make a $50 million equity investment in Century’s common stock at $23.14 per share. Furthermore, Century will receive reimbursement of certain preclinical development costs for development candidates licensed by Bristol Myers Squibb. Century is also eligible for additional payments for future program initiations and development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments totaling more than $3 billion across the four potential programs.

In addition, Century will also receive tiered royalties as a percentage of global net sales in the high-single to low-double digits. It may also elect to co-promote the AML program and one of the additional programs in the United States for no exercise fee. This latter would also trigger enhanced US royalties.

As part of this transaction with Bristol Myers Squibb, Century has amended its agreements with FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics for Japanese development and commercialization rights for the products in these development programs.

“We are pleased to partner with Bristol Myers Squibb, a global leader in oncology and hematology, to further expand our pipeline of iPSC-derived cell therapy products for challenging hematological and solid tumor malignancies,” said Lalo Flores, CEO, Century Therapeutics, in a company press release. “Bristol Myers Squibb is an ideal partner for us because they bring extensive clinical development and scientific expertise in cell therapy that will increase the probability of technical success of these programs. Additionally, this collaboration will enable deployment of our next-generation iPSC platform to develop products targeting malignancies that are difficult for biotech companies to tackle on their own.”

“The collaboration with Century Therapeutics is an important part of our investment strategy in next-generation cell therapies for hematologic and solid tumors,” said Rupert Vessey, executive vice-president and president, Research & Early Development, Bristol Myers Squibb, in the press release. “Century’s iPSC-based gamma delta T and NK cell platforms show promise and are complementary to Bristol Myers Squibb’s existing cell therapy technologies. We look forward to exploring the full potential of the iPSC approach to develop potentially best-in-class allogeneic cell therapies to help patients with hematologic and solid tumor malignancies.”

Source: Bristol Myers Squibb