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Bellicum and Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù will collaborate on preclinical and clinical development of CAR-T and TCR therapeutics.
On Nov. 1, 2016 Bellicum Pharmaceuticals and Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù (OPBG), a European pediatric research center and hospital, announced they have entered into an expanded collaboration focus on preclinical and clinical development of CD19 and other chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies and TCR therapeutics engineered using Bellicum’s CaspaCIDe molecular safety switch technology. The safety switch is designed to reduce or eliminate cells that become toxic or are no longer needed.
Under terms of this agreement the two organizations agreed to jointly develop CARs and other cell therapies discovered by OPBG and engineered with CaspaCIDe. Bellicum agreed to provide financial support to the research collaboration in exchange for exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize certain cell therapies that are developed, while OPBG maintains rights for research purposes.
OPBG will conduct research and clinical studies of CAR-T and TCR therapeutics in pediatric patients, with initial CD19 CAR-T and GD2 CAR-T clinical trials in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and neuroblastoma patients, respectively, expected to begin in 2017. In addition, OPBG agreed to manufacture European clinical trial supplies for the investigational programs, as well as Bellicum’s PRAME-targeted TCR, BPX-701, in its GMP facility.