Dan Stanton, Managing editor

August 6, 2018

2 Min Read
Regeneron teams up and takes $100m stake in bluebird bio

Regeneron has increased its interest in cellular therapies through a T cell co-development partnership with bluebird bio.

The deal sees Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and bluebird bio combine their respective tech platforms to discover, develop and commercialize an initial six candidates against tumor-specific proteins and peptides, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T and other T cell receptors (TCRs).

As part of the collaboration, Regeneron has invested $100 million (€87 million) in its new partner bluebird, buying 420,000 shares at a price of $238.10 each.

“Bluebird is a leader in the CAR T space, but they recognize that the limitation in the field is the need for more ‘targeting’ agents for the engineered T cells,” Regeneron spokesperson Alexandra Bowie told BioProcess Insider.

“Our complementary technologies have the potential to expand the types of tumors that modified T cells can safely and effectively target by enabling the T cells to reach both extracellular and intracellular tumor antigens.”

Technology

Regeneron’s tech comprises of VelociSuite, a series of technologies designed to enhance the discovery, development and manufacturing of antibody therapeutics.

“Our VelocImmune mice – with genetically humanized B cell immunity – are a source of fully human antibody-based targeting reagents. We have made quite a few exciting such targeters for cancer cells that we incorporate into our bispecific antibody approaches, but now we and Bluebird are excited about trying these in their T cell approaches,” said Bowie.

“We also have the VelociT mouse with a genetically humanized T cell immune system. This means we can do in vivo immunizations and optimizations to get the best possible – most specific and discriminatory – fully human T Cell Receptors out of these mice. We’re very excited about using these in vivo optimized/fully human TCRs in their T cell approaches.”

The work will be carried out in both companies’ labs by a joint scientific team working closely together.

This is not Regeneron’s first foray into cellular therapies. In August 2016, the firm inked a deal with Adicet Bio, aimed at developing allogeneic, or ‘off-the-shelf,’ T cell therapies.

“[The bluebird partnership] is a different but complementary collaboration,” Bowie told us. “Immuno-oncology is a ripe field for the pursuit of many different approaches.”

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.


Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.


From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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