Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc. (“Dragonfly” or the “Company”), today announced it entered into a new agreement with Celgene Corporation and its affiliates (“Celgene”) to discover, develop and commercialize innovative immunotherapies for patients with solid and hematological cancers. The new agreement builds upon Celgene’s existing four-target collaboration with Dragonfly, agreed upon in 2017, and increases the number of TriNKET™ immunotherapy drug candidates available for in licensing by Celgene to a total of eight.
The new four-target deal provides Celgene the option to license exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights to products developed using Dragonfly’s TriNKET™ technology platform for four new solid and hematological tumor targets in return for a $50 million upfront fee, potential future milestones, potential royalty payments and other material considerations.
“We have watched the field of NK-cell biology and immunotherapy evolve considerably since entering our initial collaboration with Dragonfly and are pleased to expand our access to their novel therapeutic candidates,” said Rupert Vessey, FRCP DPhil, President of Research and Early Development for Celgene Corporation. “Based on the evidence we’ve seen to date, we believe that Dragonfly’s novel TriNKET technology provides a unique platform to support the discovery and development of immunotherapy drug candidates that may help cancer patients, with potential both as monotherapy and in combination with existing therapeutics.”
“Celgene’s partnering strategy relies on our ability to develop effective collaborations with innovative companies,” said Robert Hershberg, MD, PhD, head of Celgene’s Business Development and Global Alliances. “The expansion of our collaboration with Dragonfly reinforces the success of our externally focused strategic collaboration model, and I am pleased to have been part of the team who have led us to the next stage of our partnership with Dragonfly.”
“Celgene is a leader in innovation in immunotherapy and we are very pleased to double the number of targets within our collaboration, and to move as partners into solid tumor targets,” said Dragonfly CEO Bill Haney. “The Celgene team have been fantastic collaboration partners over the past 18 months, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to bring potential new immuno-oncology treatment options to patients with cancer.”