With an eye on CAR-T, Astellas invests in Poseida

Aug. 8, 2023

Astellas Pharma and Poseida Therapeutics have announced a strategic agreement in which the Japan-based drugmaker will invest $50 million to acquire approximately 8.8% of Poseida. 

Astellas' investment consists of the acquisition of common stock shares at $3.00 per share for a total of $25 million and an additional one-time payment of $25 million for certain strategic rights. In light of the investment and the incorporation of cost-control strategies within the business, California-based Poseida revealed that it's extending its projected cash runway into early 2025.

The investment also gives Astellas the right of exclusive negotiation and first refusal to license on one of Poseida's clinical stage programs: P-MUC1C-ALLO1, an allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy in development for multiple solid tumor indications.

Currently in phase 1 trials, P-MUC1C-ALLO1 is an allogeneic CAR-T product candidate targeting solid tumors derived from epithelial cells, including breast and ovarian cancers. According Kristin Yarema, president of Cell Therapy at Poseida, the company is making "steady progress in dose-ranging" and continues to "explore approaches such as raising conditioning lymphodepletion to emerging industry norms and exploring additional dosing and administration options."

After Takeda walked away from a 2021 gene therapy partnership with Poseida in JulyPoseida was left to seek new collaborations in gene therapy that could include some or all of the programs previously included in the deal or potentially additional internal programs.