Thursday, December 31, 2020
Incyte and Cellenkos, Inc., a privately held, clinical stage biotech company, announced a development collaboration to investigate the combination of ruxolitinib (Jakafi®) and CK0804, Cellenkos’ cryopreserved CXCR4 enriched, allogeneic, umbilical cord blood-derived T-regulatory cells, in patients with myelofibrosis (MF). In addition, Incyte has an exclusive option to acquire sole rights to develop and commercialize CK0804, and genetically-modified variants of CK0804, in benign and malignant hematology indications.
“This collaboration supports our continued commitment to developing new therapeutic options that may improve and expand treatment options for patients with MF, part of a group of rare blood cancers known as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs),” said Steven Stein, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Incyte. “We are excited to partner with Cellenkos to initiate this study as part of our LIMBER clinical development program, designed to evaluate new monotherapy and combination strategies for patients with MPNs.”
“We are delighted to partner with Incyte, a global biopharmaceutical company, to further study and develop CK0804. Incyte’s investment in strong science and R&D excellence makes them an ideal partner to evaluate CK0804 in combination with ruxolitinib as a potential treatment for the many patients living with myelofibrosis, especially those who are transfusion dependent,” said Tara Sadeghi, Vice President, Clinical Operations, Cellenkos, Inc. “Our innovative strategy of exploiting the CXCR4/CXCL12 axis to redirect the immune modulatory T-regulatory cells specifically to the diseased bone marrow holds the promise of resolving inflammation to allow for normal hematopoeisis resulting in clinical improvement. This collaboration is in line with our corporate strategy to partner with world-leading major pharma companies in order to maximize access to our innovative cellular medicines.”
Per the terms of the agreement, the companies plan to initiate a Phase 1b single arm, open-label study evaluating ruxolitinib in combination with CK0804 in patients with MF. Incyte will fund the study, which will be operationalized by Cellenkos.
In addition, per the agreement, Incyte will have an option to acquire an exclusive global license to develop and commercialize the program. Upon exercising the global licensing option, Incyte would be responsible for all activities and costs associated with research, development and commercialization of the program. Cellenkos would be eligible to receive a $20 million licensing fee and, for each distinct product under the agreement, development, regulatory and sales milestones totaling up to $294.5 million as well as tiered royalties ranging from mid-single digit to low-double digits, if approved.
The collaboration is effective immediately.