Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. has announced that it has begun drug development operations at its new location at JLABS in San Diego, California.
The drug development and license agreement between Transposagen and Janssen, which was announced in November of 2014, has been transferred to Poseida. The three-year drug development partnership and license agreement will focus on developing at least two allogenic CAR-T product candidates.
Poseida will receive milestones payments of up to $292 million per product candidate and tiered royalty payments. Both companies will work together on preclinical development and Janssen will be responsible for manufacturing and commercialization.
Poseida has retained the rights to develop its own autologous CAR-T products, as well as allogeneic CAR-NK and non-CAR T-cell therapies. Unlike other companies in this space, Poseida does not use retroviruses, such as lentivirus, to deliver the CAR molecule, but rather piggyback™ technology, which is safer, more efficient and estimated to be 10 times cheaper than viral approaches. Importantly, the piggyBac™ technology can deliver DNA cargo that is 20 times larger than lentivirus, meaning that more than one CAR molecule, plus safety switches and immune modulators, can all be delivered simultaneously.
The 40,000 square foot San Diego JLABS facility features core research labs hosting specialized capital equipment, shared administrative areas and individual bench, wet lab and office modules. JLABS is a “no strings attached” model and the agreement for space does not grant Janssen any ownership stake in Poseida. Heading up the immuno-oncology research effort for Poseida at JLABS is Devon Shedlock, Ph.D., current Director of Immuno-Oncology at Poseida and the former Associate Director of the T-Cell Engineering Core that is part of Carl June’s group at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Our recent expansion at JLABS greatly facilitates our drug development collaboration with Janssen,” said Eric Ostertag, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Poseida. “It is wonderful that our scientists can work closely with a team of Janssen scientists on a nearly daily basis, and, having access to Janssen’s expertise in the immunology and cellular therapy areas is a tremendous boost to our own CAR-T drug development program.”
Poseida is currently hiring ambitious scientists desiring a fast-paced work environment in the exciting CAR-T and gene therapy fields.