CBM, Achilles ink deal to develop T-cell therapies

April 13, 2022

The Center for Breakthrough Medicines and Achilles Therapeutics are partnering to bring Achilles’ therapies to cancer patients in clinical trials.

London-based Achilles will work with the Pennsylvania-based CDMO at CBM's new King of Prussia site. CBM aims to make this site the world’s largest and most advanced single-point facility for cell and gene therapy manufacturing.

The deal between the two will rely on CBM's expertise in developing advanced treatments in order to manufacture Achilles’ precision T-cell therapies for treating solid tumors in cancer patients. The doses will be given to patients in Achilles’ phase 1/2a ongoing clinical trials of non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma patients. Neither company has shared the financial details of the deal as of now.

John Lee, head of cell therapy and vice president at CBM said the collaboration will allow Achilles to speed up development of its T-cell product candidate. The flagship candidate targets protein markers on the surface of cancer cells called clonal neoantigens. Achilles has two ongoing phase 1/2 trials: CHIRON, for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, and THETIS, for patients with recurrent or advanced skin cancer. 

The deal is also a great fit geographically — Achilles recently opened its U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia.

Achilles estimates that the partnership — the company's first U.S. GMP manufacturing endeavor — will have an initial annual capacity of 150-200 doses at peak production.