AbbVie, Caribou enter deal to develop CAR T-cell therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

February 10, 2021 -- AbbVie and Caribou Biosciences have entered into a collaboration and license agreement for the research and development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapeutics.

Using Caribou's CRISPR genome editing platform to engineer CAR T-cells to withstand host immune attack, the companies hope to overcome the common challenge of host immune system rejection of allogeneic CAR T-cells.

Under the multiyear agreement, AbbVie will utilize Caribou's next-generation Cas12a CRISPR hybrid RNA-DNA (chRDNA) genome editing and cell therapy technologies to research and develop two new CAR T-cell therapies directed at targets specified by AbbVie. AbbVie will have exclusive rights to Caribou's next-generation chRNDA genome editing and cell therapy technologies for the selected targets.

Caribou will conduct certain preclinical research, development, and manufacturing activities for the collaborative programs, and AbbVie will reimburse Caribou for all collaboration activities. AbbVie is responsible for all clinical development, commercialization, and manufacturing efforts. AbbVie also has the option to pay a fee to expand the collaboration to include up to an additional two CAR T-cell therapies.

Caribou will receive $40 million in upfront cash payment and equity investment, along with up to $300 million in future development, regulatory, and launch milestones. Caribou may also be eligible for additional commercial milestones as well as tiered global royalties.

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