Gracell, FutureGen to develop engineered immunotherapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

August 18, 2021 -- Gracell Biotechnologies has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with FutureGen Biopharm to develop engineered immune cell therapies targeting Claudin 18.2 (CLDN18.2) in solid tumors.

The companies will develop, manufacture, and commercialize new immune cell therapies for patients with CLDN18.2-positive cancers using Gracell's immune cell therapy experience and FutureGen's fully human CLDN18.2 antibodies.

"The fine-tuned affinity of [the] antibody for CAR-T application may eliminate CLDN18.2 positive tumor cells more specifically with better safety profile," stated FutureGen CEO Dr. Zhaoyu Jin in a release.

Under the agreement, FutureGen will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive additional payments based on the achievement of nonclinical validation, clinical development, and commercialization milestones, in addition to low-single-digit royalties.

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