PARIS ¿ Crucell NV signed a licensing and production agreement with Selective Genetics, granting the San Diego-based company a nonexclusive license for the use of its PER.C6 human cell-line technology.
The agreement also provides for Crucell, of Leiden, the Netherlands, to produce clinical-grade batches of the gene therapy product developed by Selective Genetics using the PER.C6 cell-line expression platform.
Crucell is to receive an up-front payment, followed by annual fees for the license and additional payments for the production of preclinical batches. If the license is converted into a commercial one, the Dutch company will receive additional annual payments and royalties on sales of PER.C6-derived products.
It was the 17th licensing agreement concluded by Crucell for this technology and the second providing for it to manufacture clinical-grade batches for studies in the United States. Selective Genetics is a private company that is developing highly localized, site-specific gene therapies for tissue repair and regeneration.
Two days after signing the deal, Crucell signed an agreement with another U.S. company, Vaxin Inc., of Birmingham, Ala., for the development of a new generation of noninvasive vaccines to be administered by skin patch. The companies will combine Vaxin¿s proprietary skin delivery system for vaccines, known as EasyVax, and Crucell¿s PER.C6 cell line and related vaccination technology to develop two antiviral vaccines. They have already decided that one vaccine will be against rabies, while Crucell is to select the second vaccine for development. The research will be carried out in both Leiden and Birmingham and the partners will share costs and profits.
Crucell itself is using PER.C6 to develop what it calls huMADE biopharmaceuticals, meaning they are ¿as human as possible.¿ It is focusing on human antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases and on vaccines for the prevention and treatment of influenza and other infectious diseases.
PER.C6 is one of two proprietary technologies developed by Crucell, the other being MAbstract, a set of tools based on phage antibody display libraries and on subtraction and selection technology designed to facilitate the discovery of novel drug targets and the development of human monoclonal antibodies to treat various diseases.