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The companies will join forces to develop next-generation ex vivo cell therapies in oncology.
On Feb. 22, 2018, Gilead’s Kite Pharma and Sangamo Therapeutics announced a partnership in which Sangamo’s zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology platform will be used for the development of next-generation ex vivo cell therapies in oncology.
Under the partnership, Kite will use Sangamo’s ZFN technology to modify genes to develop next-generation cell therapies for autologous and allogeneic use in treating different cancers. Allogeneic cell therapies from healthy donor cells or from renewable stem cells would provide a potential treatment option that can be accessed directly within the oncology infusion center, thus reducing the time to infusion for patients, according to Kite.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sangamo will receive an upfront payment of $150 million and is eligible to receive up to $3.01 billion in potential payments, aggregated across 10 or more products using Sangamo’s technology, based on the achievement of specific research, development, regulatory, and successful commercialization milestones. Sangamo would also receive tiered royalties on sales of potential future products resulting from the partnership.
Kite will be responsible for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization of products under the partnership, and will be responsible for agreed-upon expenses acquired by Sangamo. This transaction is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.
“The emergence of gene editing as a tool to edit immune cells holds promise in the development of therapies with potentially improved safety, efficacy, and efficiency,” said John F. Milligan, PhD, Gilead’s president and CEO, in a company press release. “We believe Sangamo’s zinc finger nucleases provide the optimal gene editing platform, and we look forward to working with Sangamo to accelerate our efforts to develop next-generation autologous cell therapies, as well as allogeneic treatments that can be accessed more conveniently in the hospital setting for people living with cancer.”