Poseida Therapeutics and Astellas to Develop Novel Allogeneic Cell Therapies

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The two companies will combine their cell therapy platforms to develop convertibleCAR programs targeting solid tumors.

Editor's note: this story was originally published on BioPharmInternatoinal.com.

In a new research collaboration and license agreement, Poseida Therapeutics and Astellas Pharma’s wholly owned subsidiary, Xyphos Biosciences,will develop novel convertibleCAR programs to target solid-tumor cancers.

Under the agreement, the companies plan to combine Poseida’s proprietary allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) platform with Xyphos’ ACCEL technology to create one Poseida-developed CAR-T construct. This construct is intended to serve as the basis of two convertibleCAR product candidates targeting solid tumors.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Astellas, where we share a vision that cutting edge, off-the-shelf cell therapies can address significant unmet needs of patients with solid tumor malignancies. Today’s agreement further reinforces the economic value of Poseida’s highly differentiated non-viral technologies and enables development in areas beyond our core pipeline focus,” said Kristin Yarema, PhD, president and CEO of Poseida, in a May 1, 2024 company press release.

Under the transaction, Xyphos will reimburse Poseida for costs incurred as part of the research agreement. Xyphos will be responsible for the development and future commercialization of products generated from the collaboration. Poseida will receive a $50 million upfront payment as well as potential development and sales milestones and contingency payments that could total up to $550 million. Poseida is also eligible for up to low double digit tiered royalties as a percentage of net sales.


“At Astellas, we have a strong commitment to developing novel treatments for patients with cancer and have positioned immuno-oncology as a [p]rimary [f]ocus of our R&D strategy [1] … we are focused on reinvigorating the immune system’s ability to discover, disarm, and destroy cancers in more patients. By combining the ACCEL platform with Poseida’s elegant and cutting-edge genetic editing platforms, we believe the collaboration will bring synergies between the two companies’ breakthrough research and will ultimately lead to expansion of Astellas’ portfolio and to delivery of innovative CAR-T cell therapies to cancer patients,” said Adam Pearson, chief strategy officer of Astellas, in the press release.

Astellas is making a strategic investment in Poseida, which it announced in August 2023 (2). Under this transaction, Astellas is investing a total of $50 million, comprising $25 million to acquire 8,333,333 shares of Poseida common stock, a one-time $25 million payment for a right of exclusive negotiation and first refusal to license P-MUC1C-ALLO1, one of Poseida's clinical-stage programs. The candidate is an allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy being developed to treat multiple solid tumor indications. Also under this transaction, Astellas has been granted a board observer seat on Poseida’s board. The position includes the ability to attend Poseida’s scientific advisory board meetings as well as certain notice rights related to any potential change of control of Poseida.


1. Astellas Pharma. Areas of Interest. www.astellas.com (accessed May 6, 2024).
2. Astellas Pharma. Astellas and Poseida Therapeutics Announce Strategic Investment to Support Poseida’s Commitment to Redefining Cancer Cell Therapy. Press Release, Aug. 8, 2023.

Source: Astellas Pharma