Caladrius Biosciences announces that Caladrius, through its subsidiary, PCT, has entered into a global collaboration with Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. (Hitachi Chemical) that includes licensing, development and equity components. Hitachi Chemical is a global conglomerate with a growing franchise in life sciences, including regenerative medicine.
As part of the collaboration, Hitachi Chemical has purchased a 19.9% equity interest in PCT for $19.4 million. Caladrius will retain the remaining 80.1% ownership of PCT. Caladrius intends to use the acquired capital for continued expansion and improvements at PCT in support of commercial product launch readiness as well as for general corporate purposes.
In addition, PCT has licensed its cell therapy technology and know-how to Hitachi Chemical for cell therapy manufacturing in certain Asian territories, including Japan, where the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (“PMDA”) has introduced more favorable legislation to stimulate the growth of regenerative medicine development in Japan. Under the license agreement, Hitachi Chemical is to make upfront and near term milestone payments of $5.6 million. In addition, Hitachi Chemical will pay service fees and royalties on contract revenue in those territories. Under the license arrangement, Hitachi Chemical is responsible for all capital and operational expenses associated with the establishment and operation of the Asian business on which PCT is entitled to royalty payments.
PCT and Hitachi Chemical have also agreed to explore the establishment of a joint venture in Europe.
“We are delighted about this collaboration with a company of the stature and global reach of Hitachi Chemical as it represents a clear validation of the PCT business model, technology and know-how. Importantly, it now values our PCT business at approximately $100 million and provides non-dilutive capital that strengthens our financial position,” said David J. Mazzo, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Caladrius. “Together, Caladrius, PCT and Hitachi Chemical are focused on building a global leadership position in cell therapy development and manufacturing with this transformative collaboration.”
“This partnership with Hitachi Chemical underscores the value of PCT’s expertise in cell therapy manufacturing and process development and will allow for the acceleration of our vision to create a global commercial enterprise with deep engineering expertise. Moreover, Hitachi Chemical’s investment in PCT shows its confidence in the growth of the cell therapy field as the field continues to shift towards Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials and into commercial distribution as regulatory approvals are obtained,” said Robert A. Preti, PhD, President of PCT. “By leveraging this expanded footprint, our clients will gain global access to the cell and cell-based gene therapy markets of tomorrow, where we expect engineering solutions to process optimization and automation will play a seminal role.”
"Our aim is to establish global leadership in regenerative medicine and we believe this deep collaboration with PCT, through its veteran cell therapy manufacturing experts and global brand, can power that into a reality," said Kazuyuki Tanaka, President and CEO of Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. “By leveraging PCT’s expertise and cell therapy technology, complementing PCT’s capabilities with our own and launching joint initiatives in new geographies, we will advance together towards that goal. In addition to using PCT’s support, Hitachi Chemical will receive technological assistance from Hitachi Group to develop a production control system, including automated facilities, to manufacture low cost yet high quality regenerative medicine cells, while also promoting consumable materials such as containers and reagents.”