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Adaptimmune and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Enter a Strategic Collaboration to Evaluate Next-Generation T-Cell Therapies

PHILADELPHIA and OXFORD, United Kingdom and HOUSTON, Dec. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (ADAP), a leader in T-cell therapy to treat cancer, and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders, today announced that they have entered into a staged collaboration to evaluate, develop, and commercialize next-generation T-cell therapies.

Under the agreement, the companies will evaluate Bellicum’s GoTCR technology (inducible MyD88/CD40 co-stimulation, or iMC) with Adaptimmune’s affinity-optimized SPEAR® T-cells for the potential to create enhanced TCR product candidates. Depending on results from the preclinical proof-of-concept phase, the companies expect to progress to a two-target co-development and co-commercialization phase.

“We are committed to advancing our clinical pipeline of proprietary cell therapies and to entering strategic collaborations that can further leverage the unique potential of our controllable T-cell technologies,” commented Tom Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bellicum. “We’re looking forward to working with the Adaptimmune team to create and advance potentially best-in-class TCR therapies.”

“As we advance our deep pipeline of second- and third-generation SPEAR T-cell therapies, we are excited by the potential of Bellicum’s iMC switch to complement the activity of our affinity enhanced T-cell therapies, as part of our continuing initiative to assess novel cell therapy enhancement technologies,” said James Noble, Adaptimmune’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an innovative field that requires broad, industry-wide collaborations, such as our relationship with Bellicum and its strong leadership position in switch technology.”

About Bellicum’s iMC Technology
Bellicum’s Chemical Induction of Dimerization (CID) technology platform was designed to address the challenges of current cellular immunotherapies by enabling control over cellular activities and functions, such as growth, activation, proliferation, persistence and survival. Bellicum’s CID platform consists of molecular switches—modified forms of signaling proteins—which are triggered inside the...