Healthcare Industry News: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
News Release - October 11, 2006
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Announces Commercial Licensing of ARIAD's ARGENT(TM) Cell-Signaling Regulation Technology for Development of New Cancer TherapiesBaylor College of Medicine Spin-Out Company Focuses on Therapeutic Vaccines for the Treatment of Cancer
HOUSTON, Oct. 11 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing licensing agreement with ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARIA ) for its ARGENT(TM) cell-signaling regulation technology. ARIAD will have an equity stake in Bellicum and will receive additional payments. Bellicum also may be granted exclusive licenses in certain product applications based on its achievement of development, regulatory and commercial milestones. The Bellicum product candidates will use ARIAD's small molecule dimerizer drug, AP1903, which already has successfully completed a Phase 1 clinical trial.
In a widely reported study (Morgan, et al, Science 10.1126/ science.1129003, published online 31 August 2006), researchers at the National Cancer Institute reported the cure of two advanced melanoma patients using a genetically modified autologous vaccine. According to Bellicum Founder and Baylor Prostate Center Director Kevin Slawin, M.D., "Dr. Rosenberg's work has demonstrated proof of principle that genetically modified autologous vaccines, such as those being developed by Bellicum, can lead to the complete eradication of even advanced cancers, an achievement rarely seen with more conventional therapies, whose benefits are often more incremental".
David M. Spencer, Ph.D., Bellicum's Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, and Associate Professor of Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, co-invented the dimerizer technology while a student in Professor Gerald R. Crabtree's lab at Stanford University. He is also the lead author of the seminal dimerizer paper (Spencer, et al, Science 1993, 262, 1019). "It is especially gratifying to see my earlier work at Stanford come full-circle with the opportunity to apply the dimerizer technology to our work here at Bellicum," stated Spencer.
About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is focused on the development of next generation therapeutic vaccines and other immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer. Founded in July 2004 by Professors Kevin M. Slawin, M.D. and David M. Spencer, Ph.D., the company is developing clinical products based on novel and powerful vaccine strategies developed at Baylor College of Medicine. The company's lead product, BP-GMAX-CD1, a genetically modified, pharmacologically regulated autologous vaccine, is in late stage preclinical development for patients with advanced, androgen independent prostate cancer. BP-GMAX-CD1 and follow-on product candidates have been successfully tested in mouse models and human dendritic cells. The company owns or has in-licensed certain key technologies, and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Farrell has assembled a team of seasoned clinical, regulatory, and CMC consultants to advance product candidates into human clinical trials. For more information, visit www.bellicum.com
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
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