Medigene expands Bluebird bio alliance in cancer immunotherapy

T cell receptor therapy collab for Kite and Gadeta
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ fusebulb

Germany’s Medigene has significantly expanded its strategic alliance with gene and cell therapies specialist bluebird bio, to focus on the R&D of T cell receptor-modified T cell (TCR-T) immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer.

Under the revised terms of the agreement, the number of target antigen/MHC restriction combinations for the discovery of specific TCR lead candidates by Medigene will be increased from four to six.

As part of this contractual expansion, Medigene will receive an additional one-time payment of £8 million. R&D funding for all work performed by Medigene in this collaboration will grow proportionally to address the broader scope of the collaboration.

In addition, the aggregate amount of all potential development and commercial milestones as well as royalty payments has been significantly increased in line with the extended number of TCR projects.

If successfully developed and marketed through several indications and markets, Medigene could receive up to $250 million in milestone payments per TCR program in addition to tiered royalty payments on net sales up to a double-digit percentage.

Following the amendment of the agreement, Medigene anticipates receiving an additional payment of $1 million associated with the first collaboration project under the agreement.

Based on the terms of the agreement signed in September 2016, Medigene is responsible for the discovery of TCRs for each target antigen selected by bluebird bio using its TCR technology platform.

Following the collaborative non-clinical development, bluebird bio will assume sole responsibility for pre-clinical and clinical development and commercialisation of the TCR-T cell product candidates and will receive an exclusive license for the intellectual property covering the selected TCRs.