Servier has opted to acquire global rights to the allogenic CAR-T cell therapy UCART 19 from Cellectis and bring Pfizer on board to drive its development and commercialisation in blood cancers. 

UCART19 is an immunotherapy developed with Cellectis’ proprietary approach using engineered T-cells from non-patient donors that can be used in multiple patients, and is on the brink of entering Phase I development for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Pfizer and Servier will work together on a joint clinical development program for UCART19 and share development costs. The drug giant takes on responsibility for commercialisation in the US, and Servier will retain marketing rights in countries elsewhere. 

Cellectis will receive $38.2 million upfront from Servier for rights to the therapy, and is also eligible for over $300 million of milestone payments, R&D financing, and royalties on sales. Financial terms for Servier’s deal with Pfizer were not disclosed.

Explaining his firm’s interest in the deal, Mikael Dolsten, president, Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer, said it “builds on Pfizer’s position in the CAR-T space and our growing portfolio of investigational immuno-oncology assets, which is a major priority for our oncology business”.