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Novartis entered separate license agreements with bluebird bio and Celyad for patents related to the manufacture of CAR-T cells.
On May 2, 2017, bluebird bio and Celyad both announced license agreements with Novartis for separate chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) patents. The deal with bluebird involves patents related to the company’s lentiviral vector technology to develop and commercialize CAR-T therapies for oncology, including CTL019, Novartis’s anti-CD19 CAR T investigational therapy. While the financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, bluebird said in a press release that the deal included an upfront payment as well as milestone and royalty payments.
In a separate deal, Novartis will pay Celyad $96 million upfront with additional milestone and royalty payments, for its patents on allogenic CAR-T cells. The agreement specifically involves Celyad’s United States Patent No. 9,181,527 related to allogeneic human primary T-Cells that are engineered to be T-Cell Receptor (TCR) deficient and express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). According to Celyad, the granted claims are not limited to specific CARs or specific methods of generating allogeneic CAR-T, such as genome editing or genetic engineering. The company said that it will not be involved in the development of Novartis’ CAR-T cells and that it plans to continue to focus on its own CAR-T pipeline.