In a revision of a January 1992 agreement, T Cell Sciences Inc.announced last week that AB Astra will assume responsibilityfor further development of T Cell's two initial productcandidates. Under the new agreement, Astra will develop andmanufacture the humanized monoclonal antibodies fortreatment of multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease.
Terms of funding in the original agreement remain unchanged.Astra is to provide approximately $15 million in the initialyears of the program, plus an additional $17 million if certainmilestones are met. However, the percentage of net sales to bepaid to Astra by T Cell has been lowered.
Susan Primrose, T Cell's manager of market development andcommunications, told BioWorld that the amended agreementwill make the best use of the resources of both companies. Shesaid T Cell would have had to spend millions of dollars to eitherbuild a manufacturing facility or utilize an existing facility.
Under the agreement with Astra, T Cell has humanized the twomonoclonal antibody product candidates and produced apeptide candidate, TP12, utilizing its T cell receptor (TCAR)technology. Astra has worldwide marketing rights to allproducts derived from the technology except for rheumatoidarthritis products in North America. Astra will now sharemanufacturing responsibility with T Cell for future agents. TCell Sciences of Cambridge, Mass., is responsible fordevelopment and manufacturing of TP12, which is targeted tocertain T cells thought to be implicated in multiple sclerosis.
Under the amended agreement, Astra of Westborough, Mass., isproviding additional undisclosed funds to expand the amountof space at T Cell dedicated to TCAR research and development.The additional research space will provide labs for T Cell andAstra scientists to work together, T Cell said.
T Cell's stock was up 13 cents a share on Friday, closing at$7.50.
-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor
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