Cellular Biomedicine inks CAR-T deal with Chinese General Hospital

SINGAPORE--Cellular Biomedicine Group ($CBMG) has bought chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies from the Chinese PLA General Hospital in a deal valued at RMB12 million ($1.9 million) to be paid in three installments.

CBMG said a team led by Wei Dong Han of the hospital, also known as 301 Hospital, has conducted clinical trials of CAR-T therapies to treat CD19-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), CD20-positive lymphoma, CD30-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma and EGFR-HER1-positive advanced lung cancer.

The deal includes the recombinant expression vector CD19, CD20, CD30 and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor's (EGFR or HER1) Immuno-Oncology patents, as well as data from Phase I and II clinical trials of these therapies and manufacturing knowledge.

CAR-T therapy involves modifying cancer patients' T cells to recognize and attack cancerous cells and tumors. These modified T cells, infused back into the patient's body, will multiply and continuously hunt for cancerous cells to guard against recurrence.

"This CAR-T cell technology acquisition further accelerates CBMG's growth in the Immuno-Oncology segment. We look forward to working with PLAGH [The General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army] as a long-term partner as we evaluate paths to commercialization," Wei, the CEO of Cellular Biomedicine Group, said in a statement.

Previously, CBMG acquired T-Cell Memory technology (Tcm), T Cell Receptor Clonality analysis technology and third generation CAR-T, anti-PD-1, CD19 and aAPC cancer immunotherapy technologies from Agreen Biotech and Persongen Biotech.

Research and development in CAR-T therapy has been a hot trend in the past two years with many big names getting their hands on partnership and research deals. Kite Pharma ($KITE), a pioneer in the CAR-T therapy field, formed a partnership with Amgen ($AMGN) earlier this year. Pfizer ($PFE) also signed a development deal with Cellectis in 2014 for exclusive rights to their CAR-T technology platform.

Cellular Biomedicine Group is a U.S.-China biomedicine company that develops cell therapies for certain degenerative and cancerous diseases, such as knee osteoarthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cartilage damage.

PLAGH, founded in 1953, developed into a large modern general hospital in the past half-century. It currently has 125 clinical, medical and technological departments, 4,000 patient beds and receives over 3.8 million outpatient visits, more than 110,000 admissions and oversees 65,000 operations every year. 

- read the press release

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