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The announcement calls attention to another partnership in the growing T-cell receptor engineering space.
Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals announced on Nov. 24, 2014 that is partnering with Janssen for the development of allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies. Transposagen will use its proprietary genome editing technologies to engineer T cells from a single donor for use in multiple patients. The allogeneic approach will allow for more widespread applications of the resulting medication than would the genetic manipulation of autologous T cells.
Under terms of the agreement, Transposagen will receive $292 million from Janssen per CAR-T therapeutic upfront, and potential milestone payments. Transposagen will also receive royalty payments on any therapies that are commercialized by Janssen, however, Janssen will retain the exclusive rights to any therapies resulting from the partnership.
"The research collaboration with Janssen will pair Transposagen's cutting-edge gene editing and gene delivery technology and expertise with Janssen industry-leading technologies in the antibody and antibody alternative areas to create what may be the ideal CAR-T therapy," said Eric Ostertag, president and CEO of Transposagen, in a press release.
Janssen is the latest example of a pharma company to partner with a biotechnology company in the production of CAR-T therapies. An alliance between Novartis and Oxford BioMedica was formed in October 2014 to study and commercialize novel cellular immunotherapies using CAR-T technologies. Pfizer and Cellectis entered into a similar deal in June 2014. GlaxoSmithKline and Celgene also made plans to modify T cells through partnerships with biotech firms.