Astellas to advance oncology CAR-T therapy

An investment of $50 million by Astellas Pharma in Poseida Therapeutics’ Phase I allogeneic CAR-T product candidate for solid tumour indications is set to advance the cancer immunotherapy field.

Astellas to advance oncology CAR-T therapy

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Astellas Pharma has agreed to invest a total of $50 million for the right to license P-MUC1C-ALLO1, an allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy in development for multiple solid tumour indications.

Under the agreement, the company will acquire approximately 8.8 percent of Poseida Therapeutics. Astellas Pharma will receive a right of exclusive negotiation and first refusal for any potential partnering of P-MUC1C-ALLO1.


Poseida Therapeutics’ allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy product candidate is in Phase I development for multiple solid tumour indications. The firm has stated P-MUC1C-ALLO1 has potential to treat a wide range of solid tumours derived from epithelial cells, such as breast, ovarian, colorectal, lung, pancreatic and renal carcinomas.

P-MUC1C-ALLO1 is designed to be fully allogeneic, with genetic edits to eliminate or reduce both host-vs-graft and graft-vs-host alloreactivity. Evidence has demonstrated the elimination of tumour cells to undetectable levels in preclinical models of both breast and ovarian cancer.

Additional details of the transaction

In addition, Poseida Therapeutics has granted Astellas Pharma a board observer seat. This includes the ability to attend Poseida’s scientific advisory board meetings, as well as certain notice rights related to any potential change of control of Poseida Therapeutics.

“We believe that this investment fits strategically with our long-term vision of expanding our capability in immuno-oncology and will ultimately lead to the development of new therapeutics for patients in need of cancer immunotherapy,” commented Adam Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer of Astellas.

Mark Gergen, Poseida Therapeutics’ Chief Executive Officer shared that the company is “excited to enter this strategic relationship with Astellas Pharma”.

Developing CAR-T cell therapies for haematological cancers

In 2022, Poseida Therapeutics entered a collaboration with Roche to develop CAR-T cell therapies for haematological cancers. According to the company, at present, P-BCMA-ALLO1, an allogeneic CAR-T candidate targeting B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), is in Phase I trials being evaluated to treat relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. This programme has shown early evidence of encouraging safety and efficacy.