Cellectis and AstraZeneca Forge Innovative Partnership to Pioneer Next-Generation Therapeutics
1 November 2023
Collaborations, Mergers & Acquisitions
Cellectis, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announces the extensive collaboration with AstraZeneca aimed at advancing groundbreaking therapeutics in areas of high unmet medical need, including oncology, immunology, and rare diseases.
This partnership encompasses a Joint Research Collaboration Agreement, an investment agreement, and a memorandum of understanding. AstraZeneca is set to harness Cellectis’ cutting-edge gene editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to propel the development of up to ten novel cell and gene therapy products.
Marc Dunoyer, Chief Strategy Officer at AstraZeneca, and CEO of AstraZeneca Rare Disease, expressed his enthusiasm, stating:
“The differentiated capabilities Cellectis has in gene editing and manufacturing complement our in-house expertise and investments made in the past year. AstraZeneca continues to advance our ambition in cell therapy for oncology and autoimmune diseases as well as in genomic medicine, which has potential to be transformative for patients with rare diseases.”
As part of this collaboration, Cellectis will receive an initial payment of $25 million from AstraZeneca. Moreover, Cellectis stands to gain option fees and milestone payments tied to development, regulatory approvals, and product sales, ranging from $70 million to $220 million for each of the ten candidate products. In addition, Cellectis will be entitled to royalties based on product sales.
AstraZeneca has the exclusive option to secure a worldwide license for the candidate products, a right exercisable before filing the Investigational New Drug (IND).
In a significant move, AstraZeneca plans to make an $80 million initial equity investment in Cellectis, acquiring nearly 22% of the share capital and 21% of the voting rights. Additionally, AstraZeneca will have the prerogative to nominate a non-voting observer to Cellectis’ board of directors. Further down the road, AstraZeneca will invest an additional $140 million, thereby increasing ownership to 44% of the share capital and 30% of voting rights, with the ability to nominate two directors to Cellectis’ board.
Cellectis intends to utilize the collaboration proceeds and equity investments for gene editing, research and development, and general corporate purposes while retaining ownership and control over its clinical-stage assets, which include UCART22, UCART123, and UCART20x22.
André Choulika, PhD, CEO of Cellectis, shared, “We believe AstraZeneca is the perfect match to Cellectis by providing world-class expertise in the development and the commercialization of innovative medicines. This collaboration will allow us to leverage our pioneering research in gene editing and cell therapies, as well as our cutting-edge capabilities in manufacturing with the ambition to bring potentially life-saving therapies to patients with unmet medical need.”
In the absence of a public offering, no prospectus will be established in France or outside of France in connection with the Initial Investment or Additional Investment.
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