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AstraZeneca Completes Equity Investment with Cellectis

Written by : Jayati Dubey

May 7, 2024

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With this second investment, AstraZeneca now holds a total equity stake of approximately 44% in Cellectis.

British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has completed its equity investment with Cellectis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, as part of a research collaboration agreement initiated in November 2023. With this second investment, AstraZeneca now holds a total equity stake of approximately 44% in Cellectis.

This collaboration aims to harness Cellectis' proprietary gene editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to develop up to 10 novel cell and gene therapy products targeting areas with significant unmet medical needs, including oncology, immunology, and rare diseases.

Financial Transactions

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Cellectis received an initial payment of $105 million from AstraZeneca, consisting of a $25 million upfront cash payment under the research collaboration agreement and an $80 million equity investment.

Following the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including Cellectis shareholders' approval and regulatory clearances, an additional $140 million equity investment, at $5 per share, has been closed.

Under the terms of the research collaboration, Cellectis stands to receive an investigational new drug (IND) option fee and various milestone payments related to development, regulatory approval, and sales, totaling between $70 million and $220 million for each of the 10 candidate products, along with tiered royalties.

AstraZeneca retains the option for a worldwide exclusive license for the candidate products developed under the collaboration, which will be exercised before IND filing.

Focus on Rare Diseases & Oncology

As part of AstraZeneca, Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, is dedicated to addressing the needs of patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions.

As per the company, with a legacy of over three decades in rare disease research and development, Alexion has been a pioneer in translating the complexities of the complement system into transformative medicines.

AstraZeneca Rare Disease continues to expand its pipeline across disease areas with significant unmet needs, utilizing various innovative modalities. Headquartered in Boston, US, Alexion is expanding its global footprint to reach more rare disease patients worldwide.

AstraZeneca also claims to be at the forefront of revolutionizing oncology with the mission to provide cures for cancer in all its forms.

Guided by scientific research, the company aims to understand the complexities of cancer biology to develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients worldwide.

The completion of the equity investment and research collaboration between AstraZeneca and Cellectis aims to be a significant step forward in advancing cell and gene therapy innovation.

In another development in March this year, to bolster its cancer treatment portfolio, AstraZeneca has set foot to acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian specialist focused on next-generation cancer therapies, for $2.4 billion (£1.9 billion).

This acquisition marks another step in AstraZeneca's ongoing efforts to strengthen its lineup of innovative medicines.


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