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Bellicum Announces ASCO Presentation Featuring its Novel CAR T Cell Co-Stimulatory Domain Designed to Improve Potency Against Solid Tumors

“MC”-driven CIDeCARs proliferate, persist and eliminate tumors in preclinical studies

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 30, 2015-- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLCM), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel cellular immunotherapies, announced the presentation of a poster at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) highlighting the potent anti-tumor effects of CAR T cells constructed with its novel, proprietary, dual co-stimulatory domain, “MC” (MyD88/CD40). MC is incorporated alongside Bellicum’s proprietary CaspaCIDe® safety switch in the Company’s CIDeCAR product candidates, including BPX-401.

The studies evaluated in vivo tumor-killing abilities of two different CIDeCARs: CD19-targeted CIDeCAR cells (BPX-401) were evaluated in a Raji lymphoma model, and Her2-targeted CIDeCAR cells were evaluated in an SK-BR-3 breast cancer model.

Study Highlights:

  • MC co-stimulation resulted in increased T cell proliferation and enhanced efficacy in lymphoma and solid tumor models in vivo compared to control CAR T cells that included the more commonly utilized co-stimulatory molecule, CD28.
  • The Company’s CD19-targeted CAR (BPX-401) elicited dose-dependent elevation of cytokines, analogous to cytokine release syndrome, but cytokine levels were rapidly normalized upon administration of rimiducid, without loss of tumor control.
  • The percentage of BPX-401 cells eliminated upon rimiducid administration was dose-dependent across a 2-3 log range.

“We believe the development of more potent CAR T cells will be critical to success in bulky lymphomas and solid tumors,” commented Tom Farrell, Bellicum’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These data suggest that our novel, dual co-stimulatory domain, MC, enhances anti-tumor efficacy compared to traditional CAR constructs. Furthermore, the risk of toxicity can be mitigated through our proprietary CaspaCIDe safety switch, potentially in such a way that therapeutic benefit can be maintained even when the switch is activated.”

The poster, titled “MyD88/CD40-based costimulation to enhance survival and proliferation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells,” can be accessed on the Events and Presentations page of the Company’s website.

About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals

Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel cellular immunotherapies for various forms of cancer, including hematological cancers and solid tumors, as well as orphan inherited blood disorders. The Company is using its proprietary Chemical Induction of Dimerization, or CID, technology platform to engineer and control components of the immune system in real time. Bellicum is developing next-generation product candidates in some of the most important areas of cellular immunotherapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or HSCT, CAR-T and TCR cell therapy, and dendritic cell vaccines. More information can be found at www.bellicum.com.

*CaspaCIDe® is a trademark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

CIDeCAR™ is a trademarks of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Bellicum may, in some cases, use terms such as "predicts," "believes," "potential," "proposed," "continue," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the timing of our clinical trials and of our research and development activities relating to BPX -401, CaspaCIDe and CIDeCAR and our expectations regarding our other programs. Various factors may cause differences between Bellicum’s expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014. Any forward-looking statements that Bellicum makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Bellicum assumes no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Investors:
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Alan Musso, 832-384-1116
CFO
amusso@bellicum.com
or
Media:
BMC Communications
Brad Miles
C:917-570-7340
O: 646-513-3117
bmiles@bmccommunications.com