Cellcor Inc. announced Tuesday that it has entered into a technologylicensing agreement with SRL Inc. of Tokyo to develop cellular therapies.Under the agreement, which was made for an initial term of three years,Cellcor will help SRL establish a core capability in good manufacturingpractices (GMP) for patient-specific cell processing in Japan.

The agreement calls for up-front payments to Cellcor and allows for severaldevelopment options that, if exercised, could represent $10 million to theNewton, Mass., company. Cellcor also will receive royalties on the saleof any products produced from the collaboration.

SRL is the largest clinical laboratory testing service in Asia, Cellcor'spresident and chief executive officer, Richard D'Antoni, told Bioworld.The Japanese company represents a large potential cell-processing capacityto Cellcor, he said, in addition to an established sales and distributionsource. The agreement, however, represents SRL's first foray into thedevelopment of therapeutic products.

Under FDA regulations, D'Antoni explained, all cell processing must beconducted under GMP procedures, even during clinical testing. In the firststage of its collaboration, SRL representatives will be trained by Cellcorin GMP cell processing and cell culturing.

Rights Are First Step

Non-exclusive Japanese rights to Cellcor's expertise in building, validatingand operating GMP cell-processing facilities for patient-specific livingcell therapies represents the first major component of the collaboration.The agreement also allows for four development options: SRL can developapplications of Cellcor's autolymphocyte therapy (ALT), cell therapyapplications can be developed or acquired by SRL, applications can bejointly developed by both companies, or applications can be developed bya third party. Exercise of any of these options by SRL will carry amilestone payment to Cellcor and extend the agreement beyond the initialthree years.

Cellcor is currently conducting a pivotal Phase III trial of its ALT inrenal cell carcinoma. The company hopes to file a product licenseapplication (PLA) with FDA for this ALT application in 1996, D'Antoni said."We hope this is the first of many strategic licensing agreements that willleverage our ability to do cell processing," D'Antoni said.

Cellcor's stock (NASDAQ:CLTX) gained six cents to close at $0.94 per shareon Tuesday.031694Cellcor

-- Karl A. Thiel Business Editor

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