Sangamo Therapeutics is acquiring TxCell for €72 million in a deal that, it says, would position it as a leader in CAR-Treg development.
TxCell is a leader in the emerging field of regulatory T cell (Treg) development for immunological diseases, one of Sangamo’s therapeutic areas of focus for its proprietary product candidate pipeline.
Tregs are a naturally occurring subset of T cells and are critical for maintaining immune homeostasis within the body by induction and maintenance of tolerance to self-antigens.
Sangamo intends to evaluate the potential of CAR-Treg (Tregs genetically modified with a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR) therapies to prevent graft rejection in solid organ transplant and for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Preclinical research provides proof of concept that antigen specific CAR-Tregs can deliver potent immunosuppression locally to targeted tissues.
By contrast, currently available anti-TNF alpha small molecule and monoclonal antibody drugs are associated with global, non-specific immune suppression.
Sangamo expects that the proposed acquisition of TxCell would accelerate its entry into the clinic with a CAR-Treg therapy.
In 2019, Sangamo expects to submit a clinical trial authorization application in Europe for TxCell’s first CAR-Treg investigational product candidate for solid organ transplant, and to initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial later in the year.
In addition, Sangamo intends to use its zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) gene editing technology to develop next-generation autologous and allogeneic CAR-Treg cell therapies for use in treating autoimmune diseases.
Sangamo expects to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2018.