Under the terms of the agreement, ViroMed will provide bluebird bio exclusive rights to its novel humanized antibody to the target, and bluebird bio will leverage its proprietary lentiviral gene therapy platform and CAR T capabilities to develop CAR T therapies against the target. Financial terms of the agreement include a $1 million upfront payment and subsequent milestone payments to ViroMed, which together could total over $48 million per licensed product if certain development and regulatory milestones are achieved. ViroMed is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on product sales. bluebird bio will conduct and fund clinical development as well as regulatory and commercial activities.
“Over the course of 2015, bluebird has continued to expand its immuno-oncology research and preclinical programs, building a broad pipeline of multiple targets in solid and hematologic malignancies. We are pleased to enter this agreement with ViroMed and add their novel target to our growing pipeline,” said Rob Ross. M.D., head of oncology, bluebird bio. “We believe that this target, combined with our lentiviral vector and manufacturing expertise, position us as a leader in delivering potentially transformative T cell-based immunotherapies to patients.”
“CAR T technology has been gaining worldwide attention in recent years as an innovative technology backed by highly promising results from recent clinical studies,” said Seung Shin Yu, Ph.D., director of new business planning, ViroMed. “bluebird bio owns critical technologies for the development of CAR T therapeutics as well as manufacturing capabilities and know-how for commercialization, making them an ideal partner for us. This agreement is a testament to ViroMed’s competitive edge in innovative gene therapy technologies like CAR T technology.”