Intellia Therapeutics is teaming up with Italy’ s San Raffaele University and Research Hospital to develop engineered T-cell therapies for hard-to-treat cancers. The 3-year research a joint venture, option, and license agreement will aim to leverage Intellia’ s CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing platform to generate improved T-cell strategies for both hematologic and solid tumors. The deal includes options and licenses to key technologies especially perfected at San Raffaele for producing engineered cell corrections.  

The collaboration represents the first exterior partnership for Intellia’ s eXtellia division, which this can set up in January 2016 to focus on applying the CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing platform for applications in immuno-oncology and autoimmune and as a consequence inflammatory disease indications.

Chiara Bonini, Michael. D., head of San Raffaele’ s Experimental Hematology Unit and deputy director of the Division of Immunology, Hair transplant, and Infectious Diseases, will lead the scientific are employed at San Raffaele. “ Through this collaboration, eXtellia is going to apply CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in a multifaceted way to regulate the fundamental properties of engineered immune cells and enhance their anticancer properties far beyond current applications, ” said Andrew Schiermeier, Ph. D., svp at eXtellia. “ San Raffaele and Dr . Bonini are well known globally as leaders in cell therapy and immuno-oncology, with excellent track records in translating innovative data into approved therapies. ”

Intellia is simply developing a series of ex vivo and in vivo genome-editing programs in-house and in partnership with industry. The firm’ s preclinical in vivo pipeline is focused on using lipid nanoparticles to target a new liver and is headed by a Regeneron-partnered program against transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR). The in vivo pipeline also includes programs targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin lack (AATD), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and inborn malware of metabolism (IEMs). Regeneron and Intellia inked that licensing and collaboration agreement to develop CRISPR-based products for pretty much 10 targets  in 2016.  

As a result of late 2014, Intellia and Novartis inked a strategic venture and licensing agreement focused on developing ex husband vivo CRISPR/Cas9-based chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). On the terms of the agreement, Novartis has exclusive rights to develop virtually programs focused on engineered CAR T cells. Novartis and additionally Intellia are jointly developing multiple HSC programs, together with Intellia will in addition develop its own proprietary internal HSC pipeline.