Durham firm extends cancer-focused collaboration with a global pharma

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A Triangle gene therapy company is adding more cancer targets to its sights through a partnership with a global pharmaceutical company based in France.

This week, Durham-based Precision Biosciences (Nasdaq: DTIL) announced that it is adding two hematological cancer targets to its agreement with Paris-based Servier – an extension of its drug development agreement that will further cement the partnership.

The extended agreement will add two hematological and two solid tumor targets beyond those already in Precision’s allogeneic CAR-T pipeline.

“The addition of these new targets will build on the productive multi-year collaboration between Precision and Servier that is driving the development of PBCAR0191, our lead allogeneic CAR T candidate targeting CD19,” said Precision’s CEO Matt Kane. “We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Servier and apply our proprietary single-step cell engineering and unique allogeneic CAR T manufacturing and development strategies to potentially extend the reach of ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR T therapies beyond hematological cancers and into solid tumors.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Servier, which has a U.S. headquarters in Boston, has the right to opt-in for late-stage development and commercialization, and Precision has the right to participate in the development and commercialization of any licensed products resulting from the collaboration. That collaboration would result in a 50/50 split co-development and co-promotion item in the U.S.

In addition to those options, Precision “expects to receive milestone payments in 2020 and 2021″ from the addition of the newest targets and is ” eligible for option fees, clinical, regulatory, and sales milestones in addition to royalties on product sales.”

“At Servier, we partner for a purpose – our patients. We are pleased to add four additional targets beyond CD19 to our collaboration with Precision BioSciences as part of our commitment to oncology,” said Patrick Therasse, Servier’s deputy head of global RD oncology. “We look forward to utilizing their ARCUS genome editing platform with these new targets to potentially develop several innovative allogeneic CAR T therapies for patients with a range of solid and hematological malignancies.”

Servier is an international drug company that employs more than 22,000 worldwide and reported total revenue of 4.6 billion euros in 2019.

The deal is the latest win for Precision, which has been steady growing its development of its ARCUS genome editing platform in recent years, and has seen an explosion growth since it went public in 2019.

Original Article Source: Triangle Business Journal