UCLB spinout, Autolus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, has secured up to $250 million from Blackstone Life Sciences to develop an immunotherapy treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). The investment is one of the largest private financings of a UK biotech company.
In 2018, UCLB and Autolus entered into a licence agreement for patent rights relating to obe-cel. UCL, through its Cancer Trials Centre, has collaborated with Autolus on clinical studies for obe-cel in patients with paediatric ALL and adult ALL. UCLB continue to collaborate with Autolus and clinical studies are ongoing at UCL for the use of obe-cel in relapsed/refractory B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas.
Dr Chris Williams SVP Corporate Development says, “Our strategic collaboration with UCL has been critical to demonstrating the clinical benefits of obe-cel in patients with adult ALL. The financing with Blackstone will enable Autolus to complete clinical development of obe-cel in its first indication of relapsed / refractory adult ALL and to support preparation for commercialisation.”
Dr Anne Lane, CEO of UCLB says, “This investment is a testament to the great technology behind Autolus, which stems from many years of research originating at the UCL Cancer Institute. We look forward to continuing to support Autolus as it brings this technology to the clinic, providing patient benefit.”