Roche makes $3 billion biobucks play for Adaptimmune’s off-the-shelf cell therapies

Leading cancer pharma Roche joins the likes of GSK and Astellas in inking deal with Adaptimmune.

The Swiss giant’s Genentech unit is expected to splash out $150 million in an upfront payment to Adaptimmune in a deal to develop and commercialize cancer-targeted allogeneic T-cell therapies. As part of the strategic collaboration, Adaptimmune will also receive another $150 million in additional payments over the next five years along with development, regulatory and commercial milestones payments which could exceed $3 billion in combined value. The transaction will also afford Adaptimmune the option to earn royalties on sales or to split costs and profits. The move means Roche joins firms such as Novartis, Gilead and Bristol Myers Squibb who have already made inroads into the cell therapy field. With the transaction, Adaptimmune is continuing its string of partnerships with leading pharmas after striking similar deals with GSK and Astellas previously.

“We are proud to partner with Genentech, given their commitment to patients and science in the cancer immunology field. This collaboration broadens Adaptimmune’s leadership position in developing allogeneic cell therapies building on our in-depth knowledge gained from our autologous clinical programs,” said Adrian Rawcliffe, Adaptimmune’s CEO. “Through this collaboration, our platform will form the basis of a personalized allogeneic cell therapy vision, where any patient can receive a T-cell product for their cancer; a significant step towards our goal of making cell therapies both curative and mainstream”. Roche also lauded the collaboration. “We believe allogeneic cell therapies could be a game-changing approach for developing personalized therapy platforms based on individual cancer patients’ unique needs,” said James Sabry, global head of Pharma Partnering at Roche.