Research & Development

Astellas and Kelonia Therapeutics announce agreement for immunooncology therapeutics

Astellas Pharma and Kelonia Therapeutics have announced that Xyphos Biosciences (a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas) and Kelonia have entered into a research collaboration and licence agreement for the development of novel immuno-oncology therapeutics.
According to the press release: ‘Under the terms of the agreement, the companies plan to combine Kelonia’s iGPS with Xyphos’ ACCELTM technology to develop innovative in vivo CAR T-cell therapies targeting up to two programmes’.
Xyphosisexpectedtoberesponsibleforthedevelopment and commercialisation of the products created from this collaboration, while Kelonia will receive $40m upfront for the first programme and an additional $35m if Xyphos decides to exercise its options for the second programme. Kelonia will also be eligible for potential milestone and contingency payments up to a total of $800m.
Kevin Friedman PhD, chief executive officer and founder of Kelonia, commented: “Our iGPS platform has the potential to be a step change in the treatment of cancer. Combining Kelonia’s in vivo gene delivery capabilities with the ACCEL convertible CAR technology is an ideal marriage of technologies to create off-the-shelf, universal CAR T-cell therapies. We see revolutionary promise in this approach, and will work diligently with our partners at Astellas to unlock its full potential for patients that need it most.”
Adam Pearson, chief strategy officer at Astellas, “At Astellas, wehaveastrongcommitmenttodevelopingnovel treatments for patients with cancer and have positioned immuno-oncology as a primary focus of our R&D strategy. With iGPS, Kelonia has an elegant, cutting-edge in vivo delivery technology, and by combining with the ACCEL platform, we believe the collaboration will bring synergies between the two companies’ breakthrough research and will ultimately lead to expansion of Astellas’ portfolio and to delivery of innovative in vivo CAR T-cell therapies to cancer patients.”