- Merck Serono and Intrexon have struck a $941 million deal to develop new CAR-T based cancer immunotherapies.
- The deal stipulates that Merck will receive access to Intrexon's entire suite of CAR-T technologies, and in return Intrexon will receive $115 million up front, as well as up to $826 million in research funding and various types of milestone payments.
- Merck will be responsible for the Investigational New Drug (IND) filing, as well as post-approval commercialization activities.
When it comes to cancer, the focus is heavily on immunotherapy—and right now, the chimeric antigen receptor-therapy, known as CAR-T, approach is cutting edge and burning hot in the industry.
CAR-T works by using a non-viral gene transfer system in which the patient's own T cells are removed, modified, and re-injected into the patient. The ultimate therapeutic goal is for the patient's modified T-cells (which have been injected with targeting CARs) to seek out cancerous cells and kill them.