NEW YORK – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday said it will acquire development and commercialization rights to 2seventy's preclinical and clinical stage cell therapy pipeline for $5 million upfront.
This will make 2seventy a single-product company, leaving under its aegis the autologous CAR T-cell therapy Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel), which it comarkets with Bristol Myers Squibb as a treatment for late-line refractory multiple myeloma.
Regeneron will bring 2seventy's pipeline products into a new unit, dubbed Regeneron Cell Medicines, and take on all of the infrastructure and personnel costs related to these programs. Tarrytown, New York-based Regeneron will also pay 2seventy a milestone payment in the event one of the programs garners market approval. Regeneron will also pay a low-single-digit percent royalty should its products bring in revenue down the line.
The latest deal follows a 2018 agreement between Regeneron and 2seventy, which was then part of Bluebird Bio. That earlier deal gave Regeneron rights to codevelop and commercialize certain collaboration targets.
The 2seventy assets Regeneron has acquired include several investigational autologous and allogeneic immune cell therapies, which Regeneron Cell Medicines hopes to advance on its own and in combination with Regeneron's antibodies and bispecifics, in various oncology and immunology indications.
As part of the deal, roughly 160 2seventy employees working on these programs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Seattle, Washington, will become Regeneron employees. 2seventy CSO Philip Gregory will join Regeneron as senior VP and head of Regeneron Cell Medicines.
In a statement on the deal, which is slated to close in the first half of 2024, 2seventy said the decision to sell its R&D pipeline to Regeneron is part of a larger strategic realignment expected to save the firm roughly $150 million in 2024 and $200 million in 2025.
In September 2023, 2seventy Bio announced it was reducing its workforce by about 40 percent, pausing research on early-stage therapeutic programs and new technologies, and transferring two programs to JW Therapeutics. At the time, the firm said it planned to focus on increasing use of Abecma, for which it is expecting 2023 revenues to be lower than the projected range of $470 million to $570 million.
The company has faced other challenges in its bid to move the fifth-line refractory multiple myeloma cell therapy to earlier lines. Although the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recently recommended that regulators approve Abecma as a third-line treatment for refractory multiple myeloma, the US Food and Drug Administration has delayed its decision on this indication and wants to discuss the pivotal data in this setting with its Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.
After its R&D pipeline is transferred to Regeneron, 2seventy will have roughly 65 employees. "Moving forward, 2seventy will be sharply focused on Abecma, with a streamlined team and a dramatically different cost structure and financial profile," Chip Baird, 2seventy's incoming CEO, said in a statement.