TxCell SA has announced the grant by the European Patent Office of the patent covering all redirected, genetically engineered T regulatory cells (CAR-Tregs) and their use in the suppression of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (patent identification number: EP 2126054). As a result, TxCell has exercised its option and signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel and owner of the patent.
TxCell originally signed the option agreement with Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd in June 2015. As per the terms of the current license agreement, TxCell has now been granted exclusive worldwide rights to, notably, develop and commercialize CAR-Treg products for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as covered by the patent family.
“The CAR-Treg field holds significant promise for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Obtaining the exclusive license for the first global patent family covering the use of CAR Tregs for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases will be key in maintaining TxCell’s lead position in this field,” said Stéphane Boissel, Chief Executive Officer of TxCell.
“TxCell has continued to make rapid progress with its work in the CAR-Treg area through its second technology platform, ENTrIA. This enabled us to recently establish two collaborations with leading European research institutions to target Lupus Nephritis and Bullous Pemphigoid, a rare dermatological disease. TxCell intends to establish further strategic partnerships as well as pursuing research and patenting activities in additional indications.”
The CAR-Treg patent family covered under TxCell’s licensing agreement with Yeda originated in the Weizmann Institute of Science laboratory of Professor Zelig Eshhar, who pioneered the CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) approach. Professor Eshhar was the first scientist to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of CAR-Treg cells in preclinical models of intestinal inflammation. TxCell recently appointed Professor Eshhar as the Chairman of its newly established Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
“We are delighted that Prof. Eshhar groundbreaking work on the use of CAR-Treg for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders will be developed by TxCell. We hope that this agreement will bring novel products to the market,” said Amir Naiberg, Chief Executive Officer of Yeda. Financial terms of the option and of the license agreement have not been disclosed. TxCell and the Weizmann Institute of Science intend to later discuss a possible R&D collaboration in the field of CAR-Treg biology and regulatory T cells engineering.