AstraZeneca to invest $245 mln in Cellectis to boost gene therapy prospects

Nov 1 (Reuters) – AstraZeneca (AZN.L) said on Wednesday it would invest $245 million in French biotechnology company Cellectis (ALCLS.PA) in a deal aimed at speeding up the development of therapeutics in areas including oncology, immunology and rare diseases.

Cellectis’ gene-editing technology and manufacturing capabilities to design novel cell and gene therapy products will help strengthen AstraZeneca’s growing offering in the space, it said.

AstraZeneca said that as part of the deal, it will pay Cellectis $105 million by the end of this year.

That includes an $80 million equity investment, which will be followed by another $140 million in early 2024, which will give AstraZeneca a stake of about 44% in the French company.

The Anglo-Swedish pharma company said it had exclusive rights to 25 genetic targets, of which up to 10 candidate products could be explored for development.

Cellectis is also eligible to receive an investigational new drug option fee and development, regulatory and sales-related milestone payments, ranging from $70 million up to $220 million per each of the 10 candidate products, AstraZeneca said.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza

Source: Reuters