Cardio3 BioSciences Acquires OnCyte CAR T-Cell Portfolio for $180 million

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Cardio3 BioSciences acquired Celdara Medical’s immuno-oncology platform, OnCyte, for up to $180 million in cash, stock, and royalties.


Cardio3 BioSciences (C3BS) announced on Jan. 6, 2015 that it acquired the oncology division of Celdara Medical, OnCyte. With the acquisition comes the immuno-oncology product candidates of OnCyte, including CM-CS1, a autologous CAR T-cell drug candidate that uses a specific human natural killer receptor, NKG2D, to target tumor antigens expressed in most circulating and solid cancers.

In July 2014, Celdara announced that it had received FDA Investigational New Drug clearance for the drug to begin Phase I clinical trials. The clinical trials are expected to begin in early 2015 and to be completed as of the second quarter in 2016. The acquisition also gives C3BS access to an additional two CAR T-cell programs that target other cancer cell ligands in preclinical development, as well as an allogeneic T-cell platform to enable the production of CAR T-cell therapy for “off-the-shelf” use.


“[T]he OnCyte CAR T-cell portfolio and development platform represent potential breakthroughs in cancer therapy that could offer transformational treatment options for patients. We believe that this new technology will become a strong asset of Cardio3 BioSciences’ product portfolio as we develop it further,” said Christian Homsy, MD, CEO of C3BS, in a press release.

Cardio3 paid $10 million upfront, $4 million of which is in C3BS shares, for the acquisition of OnCyte. Cardio3 has the potential for up to $50 million more in development and regulatory milestones until market approval for the successful development of CM-CS1. The potential for up to $21 million per product in the OnCyte pipeline will be paid to Celdara upon reaching developmental and regulatory milestones, with up to an additional $80 million in sales milestones and royalties ranging from 5%-8% if net sales exceed $1 billion.