Merck Sereno, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, and the synthetic biology leader Intrexon announced yesterday an exclusive strategic collaboration and license agreement to develop and commercialize Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) cancer therapies.
CAR-T cells are genetically engineered T-cells with synthetic receptors that recognize a specific antigen expressed on tumor cells. When CAR-T cells bind to a target, an immunological attack against the cancer cells is triggered. Utilizing Intrexon’s cell engineering techniques and RheoSwitch platform, the collaboration aims to develop leading-edge products that empower the immune system in a regulated manner to overcome the current challenges of CAR-T therapy.
The agreement provides Merck Serono exclusive access to Intrexon’s proprietary and complementary suite of technologies to engineer T-cells with optimized and inducible gene expression, while Intrexon will be responsible for all platform and product developments until IND filing. Merck will nominate targets of interest for which CAR-T products will be developed. Merk will also lead the IND filing and pre-IND interactions, clinical development and commercialization. In addition,