Ariad Pharmaceuticals is restructuring a license agreement made with Bellicum Pharmaceuticals for Ariad's cell-signaling technology. Per the revised deal, Bellicum is giving Ariad $50 million in three installments—$15 million upon signing of the agreement, $20 million by June 30, 2015, and $15 million by June 30, 2016—so Bellicum can continue to develop the technology without making any further milestone or royalty payments to Ariad.
The scope of the license and the field of use have also been expanded, as Bellicum now has a worldwide exclusive license to the cell-signaling technology for use in human cell therapies for all diseases. Ariad is also giving back its equity stake in Bellicum.
Ariad's technology involves the use of a small molecule drug, such as AP1903, to activate cell signaling and other cellular events. Bellicum says it is developing controllable stem cell transplant, chimeric-antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell, and cancer vaccine product candidates for blood and solid tumor cancers and in nonmalignant genetic diseases.
“This license restructuring allows Bellicum to fully exploit our specialized cell signaling switches and related platforms, free of future royalty or milestone obligations to Ariad,” Bellicum's CEO Tom Farrell said in a statement. “The expanded license also includes additional cell-signaling technology that may enable future products with dual control switches.”
Outside Bellicum's field of use, Ariad has also licensed certain aspects of the technology to RegenxBio and Clontech Laboratories, whose license agreements will not change because of the revision in Bellicum's license.
This story has been corrected from an earlier version, which mistakenly reported that Ariad is getting back its equity stake in Bellicum. Ariad is actually giving back its equity stake. GEN regrets the error.