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Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Universal Cells sign license agreement.

M2 EQUITYBITES-October 20, 2017-Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Universal Cells sign license agreement


Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a subsidiary of Japan-based Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503) has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Universal Cells Inc, a Seattle-based biotech company developing, licensing and commercialising stem cell therapies, it was reported on Thursday.

The collaboration is aimed at researching, developing and commercialising a novel cell therapy for an undisclosed indication. It will use Universal Cells' Universal Donor Cell technology to create cell therapy products that can be administered to any recipient without the need for Human Leukocyte Antigen matching.

Yoshitsugu Shitaka, Ph.D., president of AIRM, Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, said, 'I am pleased to enter into this collaboration with Universal Cells for a novel cell therapy using their proprietary Universal Donor Cell technology based on gene editing by rAAV (recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus) and cell engineering of pluripotent stem cells. This is definitely an important step forward in developing a potential new option as an innovative cell therapy to treat devastating diseases with high unmet medical needs.'

Although the research will be conducted jointly by AIRM and Universal Cells, Astellas will lead and fully fund the development program and will obtain worldwide rights for commercialisation. In consideration for the collaboration and grant of rights, under the terms of the agreement, Universal Cells is eligible to receive up to USD9 million in a combination of an upfront payment and research milestones. Universal Cells is also eligible to receive research funding and further clinical development and regulatory milestone payments of up to USD115 million, as well as royalties.

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Publication:M2 EquityBites (EQB)
Date:Oct 20, 2017
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