Pharma Focus Asia

Fate Therapeutics Announces Expansion of Solid Tumor Collaboration with ONO Pharmaceutical for Off-the-Shelf, iPSC-derived CAR NK and CAR T-Cell Cancer Immunotherapies

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Fate Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for patients with cancer, today announced that it has expanded its off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived, cell-based cancer immunotherapy collaboration with ONO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (ONO) to include the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK cell collaboration candidates. In addition, as part of the collaboration’s expansion, ONO will contribute novel binding domains targeting a second solid tumor antigen. Under the original Collaboration and Option Agreement entered into between Fate and ONO in September 2018, ONO has contributed novel binding domains targeting an initial solid tumor antigen, and Fate is currently conducting preclinical development of a multiplexed-engineered, iPSC-derived CAR T-cell product candidate for solid tumors.

“Our collaboration with ONO has focused on driving innovation in the field of cell therapy for solid tumors, and we are excited by the preclinical data we have observed with our first iPSC-derived CAR T-cell product candidate,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. “We are impressed with the differentiated antigen binders that ONO has contributed to the partnership, and we are pleased to expand our collaboration to initiate preclinical development of collaboration products targeting a second solid tumor antigen.”

Under the terms of the amended Collaboration and Option Agreement, Fate will advance iPSC-derived CAR NK and CAR T-cell product candidates to a pre-defined preclinical milestone, at which point ONO has an option to assume responsibility for worldwide development and commercialization with Fate retaining the right to jointly develop and commercialize in the United States and Europe. Fate retains all rights of manufacture of collaboration products on a global basis.

“The first multiplexed-engineered, iPSC-derived CAR T-cell product candidate under our collaboration with Fate Therapeutics incorporates multiple mechanisms of action designed to specifically address solid tumors and is successfully advancing toward clinical development,” said Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director, Discovery & Research of ONO. “Based on the collaboration progress and Fate’s proven ability to develop innovative product candidates, we are excited to expand our collaboration to include a second solid tumor target and to continue our work with Fate in developing first-in-class, off-the-shelf CAR NK and CAR T-cell therapies for cancer patients.”

Fate will continue to receive committed research funding from ONO during the preclinical option period, and is eligible to receive a preclinical option exercise fee as well as clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments from ONO in connection with the development and commercialization of each product candidate. In addition, Fate is eligible to receive tiered royalties on net sales by ONO of each product candidate in the ONO territory.

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