Pharma Focus Asia

Fate Therapeutics Announces Worldwide Collaboration with Janssen for Novel iPSC-derived Cell-based Cancer Immunotherapies

Friday, April 03, 2020

Fate Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders, announced today a global collaboration and option agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Under the multi-year collaboration agreement, Janssen will contribute proprietary antigen binding domains for up to four tumor-associated antigen targets. The Company will apply its iPSC product platform to research and preclinically develop new iPSC-derived chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK and CAR T-cell product candidates. The Company will receive $50 million in cash and $50 million from the purchase by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. of newly issued shares of the Company’s common stock at a price per share of $31.00. Janssen will also reimburse the Company for all activities conducted under the collaboration.

“We are delighted to enter this strategic collaboration, which brings together Janssen’s scientific and global commercialization leadership, deep domain expertise in oncology and proprietary technologies for targeting and binding certain tumors and our industry-leading iPSC product platform to develop novel off-the-shelf CAR NK and T-cell cancer immunotherapies,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. “The collaboration strengthens our financial and operating position through a focused effort of developing cell-based cancer immunotherapies utilizing Janssen’s proprietary antigen binding domains, while enabling us to continue to exploit our deep pipeline of wholly-owned product candidates and further develop our off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived cell-based immunotherapies.”

The Company will advance candidates under the collaboration to the filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, after which Janssen will have the right to exercise its option for an exclusive license for the development and commercialization of collaboration candidates targeting the tumor-associated antigens. The Company will be primarily responsible for the manufacture of collaboration candidates, the cost of which will be paid for by Janssen. The Company is eligible to receive payments of up to $1.8 billion upon the achievement of development and regulatory milestones and up to $1.2 billion upon the achievement of commercial milestones, plus double-digit royalties on worldwide commercial sales of products targeting the antigens. In addition, the Company has the right to elect to co-commercialize each collaboration candidate in the U.S. and share equally in profits and losses in the U.S., subject to its payment of certain clinical development costs and adjustments in milestone and royalty payments.

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