Astellas hitches a ride in Poseida's convertible for $50M cell therapy collaboration

Astellas is in the market for a new CAR, and Poseida Therapeutics has a shiny convertible just the right size.

The companies have signed an agreement, via Astellas’ subsidiary Xyphos Biosciences, to develop two cell therapy candidates for solid tumors, according to a Wednesday release. The terms include $50 million upfront and a possible $550 million in milestones down the line. Poseida would also receive royalties on future sales.

Poseida will combine its allogeneic CAR-T platform with Xyphos' ACCEL technology to develop a CAR-T construct, which will create the two candidates, dubbed the convertibleCAR programs.

This is not the first collaboration between Poseida and Astellas. The two signed an agreement last year focused on genetic engineering. That deal involved a $50 million investment from Astellas for right of first refusal to Poseida’s allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy P-MUC1C-ALLO1, which is under development for solid tumors.

Poseida has been rebuilding after a setback in July 2023 when Takeda walked away from a gene therapy partnership. The original deal with Astellas helped bring back a spark, with the larger company snagging an 8.8% stake in Poseida.

Now, Astellas is putting more cash on the line.