Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Licenses Its CaspaCIDe® Safety Switch to MD Anderson

12/11/19 at 7:30 AM EST
Bellicum’s proprietary technology licensed for use in CD19 CAR NK program

HOUSTON, Dec. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers, today announced that The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center exercised its option to license Bellicum’s CaspaCIDe® safety switch technology.

Under terms of the original license agreement, MD Anderson’s decision to exercise the option entitled Bellicum to receive an upfront payment of $5 million, to be recognized in the fourth quarter 2019 financial results, and undisclosed future milestone payments and royalties on sales. The license agreement with Bellicum specifically covers use of the CaspaCIDe safety switch in MD Anderson’s CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor natural killer (CAR NK) cell construct.

“We are excited that MD Anderson recognizes the utility of our CaspaCIDe safety switch technology,” said Rick Fair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. “We believe that the addition of CaspaCIDe to therapies like their CD19 CAR NK program can enable physicians to provide additional protection for patients.” 

About CaspaCIDe

The CaspaCIDe safety switch (also known as inducible Caspase-9, or iC9) is designed to be inactive unless the patient experiences a serious side effect such as cytokine release syndrome or neurologic toxicities. CaspaCIDe consists of the Chemical Induction of Dimerization, or CID, binding domain coupled to the signaling domain of Caspase-9, an enzyme that is an integral part of the apoptotic, cell death pathway. If a patient experiences a serious side effect, an activator agent, rimiducid or temsirolimus, is administered to trigger dimerization and activation of the safety switch, which in turn leads to selective apoptosis of the CaspaCIDe-expressing cells, with the goal of attenuating the therapy and resolving the serious side effect.

About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals

Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company striving to deliver cures through controllable cell therapies. The company’s next-generation product candidates are differentiated by powerful cell signaling technologies designed to produce more effective CAR-T and allogeneic cell therapies. Bellicum’s lead GoCAR-T® candidate, BPX-601, is designed to be a more efficacious CAR-T cell product capable of overriding key immune inhibitory mechanisms. More information about Bellicum can be found at ​

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,” “designed,” “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 utility of CaspaCIDe for use in the investigational CD19 CAR-NK product candidate, and whether further clinical trials will be conducted using the construct. Various factors may cause differences between Bellicum’s expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended September 30, 2019 and our annual report on Form 10-K the year ended December 31, 2018. 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

Robert H. Uhl
Managing Director
Westwicke IR

Sean Leous
Senior Vice President
Westwicke PR

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Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.