Allogene, Overland Form Joint Venture to Advance Allogenic CAR T Cell Therapies in China

Clinical-stage biotechnology company Allogene Therapeutics and start-up company Overland Pharmaceuticals are forming a new joint company named Allogene Overland Biopharm.

Clinical-stage biotechnology company Allogene Therapeutics and start-up company Overland Pharmaceuticals are forming a new joint company named Allogene Overland Biopharm, a separate venture that will develop, manufacture and commercialize allogeneic CAR T (AlloCAR T™) therapies for patients with cancer in greater China, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.

Under terms of the joint venture agreement, newly formed Allogene Overland will retain an exclusive license for the development, manufacture and commercialization of company-specific candidates targeting BCMA, CD70, FLT3 and DLL3. The Allogene Overland company will also look for ways to advance global development of AlloCAR T treatments against these same targets.

“We are excited to be the first allogeneic cell therapy company to establish a joint venture in China dedicated to making the potential benefits of an off-the-shelf cell therapy available to patients in China and other Asian Pacific markets,” Allogene’s chief executive officer and co-founder, David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement, “We’re looking forward to joining forces with Overland to build a leading cell therapy company focused on helping to accelerate the development of AlloCAR T therapies for blood cancers and solid tumors.”

Co-founder, interim chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Overland Pharmaceuticals, Hua Mu, M.D., Ph.D., added, “Combined with Allogene’s domain expertise, this positions Allogene Overland Biopharm to bring these important new therapies to patients and physicians fighting cancer across Asia and around the world.”

A statement made by the companies noted Overland will invest approximately $117 million in capital in the project, including an upfront $40 million payment to Allogene and a total of $77 million to support operations of the joint venture.

The agreement states that Overland and Allogene will be the sole equity holders in the combined Allogene Overland company. Per-product milestone payments could be made to Allogene for each first regulatory approval in China. In addition, Allogene will be eligible for tiered royalties on overall net sales.

In terms of responsibilities, Overland is set to offer development and operational support, whereas Allogene will provide manufacturing and technical expertise. Allogene will retain its exclusive license to the Cellectis technology, which is used for its allogeneic products, and will continue to hold all global development and commercial rights for the investigational candidates.

While Overland is a new start-up that just entered the scene, it’s already starting to amass a number of partnerships in the industry. This includes joint venture companies, which the company is pouring millions into to gain a foothold in diverse therapeutic areas. A day prior to the announcement of Allogene Overland, ADC Therapeutics and Overland announced the formation of Overland ADCT BioPharma, a joint company that will develop and commercialize loncastuximab tesirine and other antibody drug conjugate drug candidates for hematologic and solid tumor indications in greater China and Singapore. Overland invested $50 million to fund the joint venture’s operations, including development plans for approving loncastuximab tesirine for the management of relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).