Back in early February, Mustang Bio — a sub of Fortress Biotech $FBIO — said it had raised a whopping $94.5 million to bolster its work on new CAR-T therapies. And this morning it’s followed through with a licensing pact forged with the prestigious Fred Hutch, where it will now push a new Phase I/II clinical study in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
This new program comes out of the labs of Oliver Press and Brian Till at the Hutch. They’ve been working on a CAR-T that can express a CD20-specific chimeric antigen receptor.
The way these CAR-T drugs work is by taking immune T cells then reengineering them to transform them into cancer cell-targeting therapies. Novartis just scored the pioneering OK, with Kite close behind and a slew of biotechs hoping to make their mark with new and better technologies.
Mustang CEO Manuel Litchman, who had earlier helmed Arvinas, said:
We are thrilled to announce this partnership opportunity that will enable us to expand our CAR T pipeline into CD20-directed immunotherapies targeting B-cell malignancies. We look forward to working with the team at Fred Hutch to rapidly advance the promising CD20 Technology to patients in need. With the execution of this agreement, Mustang is now evaluating six novel CAR Ts in clinical and preclinical trials, and we remain focused on expanding our pipeline of compelling CAR T therapies.
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