Pfizer Inc. and Allogene Therapeutics announced they have formed an alliance, advancing the development of CAR-T therapies, a potentially revolutionary cancer treatment approach.
Pfizer Inc. has formed an alliance with private biotech Allogene Therapeutics, further advancing the development of its allogenic CAR-T therapy. Allogenic CAR-T therapies are a potentially revolutionary cancer treatment approach, involving the patient’s own immune cells to attack and get rid of harmful cancer cells in the body. The extracted T cells get genetically modified outside the body, incorporating them with specific receptors targeting cancer cells, before finally re-infusing them back into the patient’s body. This approach eliminates the need to create personalized therapy, significantly reducing the patients wait for treatment.
“The allogeneic CAR T platform represents a potentially transformative approach to treating cancer, and we are very excited about what the future may hold for this area of research,” said Robert Abraham, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Oncology Research & Development, Pfizer. “We believe that under the strong scientific, clinical development and regulatory expertise of Allogene’s leadership team, the portfolio of CAR T assets contributed by Pfizer will be well-positioned to rapidly advance into potential innovative new therapies, and ultimately to reach patients in need more quickly.”
Per the deal, Pfizer Inc. will own a 25% stake in Allogene, and will be represented on the San Francisco-based company’s board. In return, Allogene will assume the rights to 16 preclinical CAR-T assets, while also gaining the rights to a phase I candidate, UCART19, which Pfizer developed in partnership with Servier. UCART19 is presently in a phase I study for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, with phase II studies expected to commence next year.