Lead TCR candidate targeting solid tumors to begin clinical studies
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 29, 2015--
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLCM), a clinical stage
biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel
cellular immunotherapies, today announced it has entered into a license
agreement with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Netherlands, for
worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize high-affinity
TCR (T cell receptor) product candidates targeting solid tumors
expressing the preferentially-expressed antigen in melanoma, or PRAME.
TCRs are engineered T cells that are activated when in the presence of
target antigens in cancer cells. The lead TCRs under this license
agreement have been shown to have a high affinity to PRAME, a cancer
antigen that is preferentially expressed in melanomas, sarcomas,
neuroblastomas and other solid tumors, but generally not expressed in
Bellicum’s first TCR product candidate under this agreement, BPX-701,
targets PRAME and is expected to enter Phase 1/2 clinical trials before
the end of 2015. BPX-701 incorporates Bellicum’s proprietary safety
mechanism, CaspaCIDe®, for improved control over the
Bellicum also exclusively licensed LUMC’s TCR technology targeting
POU-2AF1. These TCRs have a high affinity to the B cell transcription
factor expression product of POU-2AF1, which is present in primary
chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),
mantle cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
“TCRs are demonstrating broad potential for the treatment of solid
tumors,” said Tom Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. “The cancer targets under this license,
combined with our CaspaCIDe safety mechanism, form the basis of a
growing portfolio of differentiated T cell therapies with the potential
to address a wide range of cancers.”
About Leiden University Medical Center
As a center of medical innovations the Leiden University Medical Center
(LUMC) strives towards an internationally recognized leading role in the
improvement of quality of health care. The core businesses of LUMC are
patient care, research, education and training. The clinical and
laboratory research at the department of Hematology of the LUMC has led
to the discovery of TCRs with high specificity for tumor cells that now
can be explored in clinical studies. The research of the Department of
Hematology aims to translate basic research achievements into clinical
applications in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and
immune therapy of cancer. The establishment of the license agreement has
been facilitated by knowledge exchange office Luris, on behalf of LUMC.
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 cell therapy,
and dendritic cell vaccines.
*CaspaCIDe® is a trademark registered with the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office.
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 -701 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.
Brad Miles, 646-513-3125
the Leiden University Medical Center
press officer at
directorate Communication, +31 71 526 8005