Sonoma Biotherapeutics and Regeneron Announce Collaboration to Discover, Develop and Commercialize T Cell Therapies
Sonoma Biotherapeutics and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals today announced a collaboration to apply their scientific and clinical expertise and respective technology platforms to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies for autoimmune diseases. The collaboration will bring together Regeneron’s industry-leading VelociSuite® technologies for the discovery and characterization of fully human antibodies and T cell receptors (TCRs) with Sonoma Biotherapeutics’ pioneering approach to developing and manufacturing gene-modified Treg cell therapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sonoma Biotherapeutics will receive $75 million in upfront payments, which includes a $30 million equity investment in Sonoma by Regeneron. Sonoma is also eligible to receive a $45 million development milestone payment. Regeneron and Sonoma will jointly research and develop Treg cell therapies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and two other undisclosed indications, with a Regeneron option for a fifth indication. The parties will equally co-fund research and development for all potential products and share equally any future commercial expenses and profits. Regeneron will have the option to lead late-stage development and commercialization on all products globally, with Sonoma retaining rights to co-promote all such products in the United States. Sonoma will also retain full ownership of its lead cell therapy candidate, SBT-77-7101, and other programs in development.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Regeneron with the goal of developing best-in-class Treg therapies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and other diseases,” said Jeff Bluestone, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Biotherapeutics. “Regeneron has a track record of seeking out pioneers in their fields and forging successful partnerships. This collaboration will combine Regeneron’s proven technology and clinical expertise with Sonoma Bio’s proprietary Treg platform and Treg research enterprise to develop therapies that restore balance to the immune system and potentially cure disease.”
“Regeneron’s investigational pipeline includes a diverse range of cutting-edge scientific approaches, and we are pleased to expand this toolkit further through a partnership with Sonoma to explore the potential of engineered Treg cell therapies with enhanced functionality and the ability to target specific tissues,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Both Regeneron and Sonoma have strong foundations in basic scientific research, and by bringing together our complementary expertise, we hope to harness the power of Tregs to make further progress in the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”
Treg cells act as sentinels that survey the body for unwanted immune attacks and rebalance the immune system. Tregs as a therapeutic modality potentially possess multiple therapeutic effects, within a single medicine, helping overcome the multifaceted nature of autoimmune and inflammatory disease. Emerging research shows that enhanced Treg cells work directly at the site of inflammation and have the potential to create a durable response. This paradigm-shifting approach could possibly transform treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
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