No­var­tis takes the long view on CAR-T, grab­bing li­cens­es on new tech for next-gen ther­a­pies

Af­ter lin­ing up their ap­pli­ca­tion for a pi­o­neer­ing CAR-T ther­a­py, No­var­tis’ $NVS cell ther­a­py group is demon­strat­ing some longterm in­ter­est in the field, bag­ging li­cens­ing deals on new tech to help de­liv­er their ther­a­py as well as fo­cus on next-gen off-the-shelf cell ther­a­pies that are form­ing in a sec­ond wave of ex­per­i­men­tal pro­grams.

Ear­ly this morn­ing the Bel­gian biotech Celyad $CYAD an­nounced that No­var­tis had gained non-ex­clu­sive rights to IP it has on al­lo­gene­ic CAR-Ts, off-the-shelf cell ther­a­pies for can­cer that many be­lieve could even­tu­al­ly prove su­pe­ri­or to the au­tol­o­gous pro­grams now lin­ing up for an ap­proval from Kite and No­var­tis. The lead au­tol­o­gous drugs ex­tract T cells from pa­tients and then en­gi­neer them in­to ther­a­pies tar­get­ing can­cer cells. Al­lo­gene­ic CAR-Ts will use gener­ic T cells, but have to be able to avoid be­ing re­ject­ed by the host — a ma­jor chal­lenge.

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Cambridge, MA, USA