$33 million NK licensing deal struck between Celgene and Dragonfly

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In a $33 million dollar deal, Celgene has acquired the option to license four natural killer (NK) cell-based blood cancer therapeutics from Dragonfly therapeutics. The deal will see the companies collaborating on research and development to establish NK based treatments as immuno-oncology options, alongside the current favourite T cells.

The platform licensed from Dragonfly, TriNKET, designs bridges between proteins found on tumour and NK cells. This stimulates NK cells into attacking the tumor, along with B and T cells and is being considered for a number of hematological conditions including acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma.

This latest move by Celgene follows a history of backing early, discovery-stage biotechs. Dragonfly’s considered potential in particular is closely linked with the eminence of its founders and scientific advisory board, that includes a Nobel winner, former director of the National Cancer institute and White House Cancer Moonshot director.

“NK-cell biology and immunotherapy are increasingly critical areas of hematologic research and we are looking forward to working with Dragonfly’s team of world-leading experts,” Rupert Vessey, Celgene’s president of research and early development, stated. “This collaboration will leverage the strengths of each company as we work together to bring innovative therapies to patients.”

Source: Celgene bags option on NK cell-based blood cancer assets Press Release