CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE) and Inhibrx, Inc. (Inhibrx) today announced that they have entered into an exclusive license agreement to research, develop and commercialize chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies using Inhibrx’s proprietary single domain antibody (sdAb) platform to multiple cancer targets. The small size of sdAbs may enable the generation of more complex CAR T cell products such as those designed to combine additional functions into a single CAR molecule or recognize multiple tumor antigens simultaneously.
“Access to the Inhibrx sdAb binder technology will allow us to combine the advancements we’ve made with our T cell therapy platform with their sdAb binder technology to generate novel cellular therapies with the potential to help patients in their fight against cancer,” said Philip Gregory, D. Phil., chief scientific officer, bluebird bio. “The technology from Inhibrx adds to our growing portfolio of tools and technologies that we can combine with our internal lentiviral vector, CAR and T cell expertise to discover potential new product candidates designed to recognize tumor-specific proteins expressed by cancer cells and kill them upon engagement.”
“We are pleased to have formalized our relationship with bluebird bio, allowing us to couple our proprietary sdAb platform with a leading cell therapy platform,” said Brendan Eckelman, Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy of Inhibrx. “Together with bluebird bio, we have generated compelling proof of concept preclinical data on the utility of incorporating our sdAbs into bluebird bio’s constructs for CAR-T cell generation.”
Under the terms of the license agreement, Inhibrx will provide bluebird bio the exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize certain cell therapy products containing sdAbs directed to various cancer targets. bluebird bio will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of the cancer-targeting CAR-T products. Inhibrx received a $7.0 million upfront payment and is also entitled to receive specified developmental milestone payments as well as percentage tiered royalties on future product sales.
About Inhibrx, Inc.
Inhibrx is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing a broad pipeline of novel biologic therapeutic candidates. Inhibrx utilizes diverse methods of protein engineering to address the specific requirements of complex target and disease biology, including its proprietary sdAb platform. The Inhibrx pipeline is focused on oncology, orphan diseases and infectious diseases. Inhibrx has a collaboration with Celgene and has received awards from several granting agencies, including NIH, NIAID and CARB-X. For more information, please visit www.inhibrx.com.
About bluebird bio, Inc.
With its lentiviral-based gene therapies, T cell immunotherapy expertise and gene editing capabilities, bluebird bio has built a pipeline with broad potential application in severe genetic diseases and cancer.
bluebird bio’s gene therapy clinical programs include investigational treatments for cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.
bluebird bio’s oncology pipeline is built upon the company’s lentiviral gene delivery and T cell engineering, with a focus on developing novel T cell-based immunotherapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR T) and T cell receptor (TCR) therapies. The company’s lead oncology programs are anti-BCMA CAR T programs partnered with Celgene.
bluebird bio’s discovery research programs include utilizing megaTAL/homing endonuclease gene editing technologies with the potential for use across the company’s pipeline.
bluebird bio has operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Durham, North Carolina and Zug, Switzerland. For more information, visit bluebirdbio.com.