Cooley Advises Quell Therapeutics on its Exclusive Treg Collaboration With AstraZeneca
London – June 9, 2023 – A transatlantic Cooley team led by partners Ken Krisko and Frances Stocks Allen advised Quell Therapeutics, a leading T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapy biotech company based in London, on its exclusive collaboration with AstraZeneca.
Under the agreement, the parties agree to collaborate to develop autologous, multimodular Treg cell therapy candidates in two autoimmune disease areas – Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The agreement comprises an initial research phase during which Quell’s proprietary toolbox of Treg cell engineering modules, including its FOXP3 phenotype lock, will be leveraged to develop product candidates. AstraZeneca then has the option to further develop and commercialise successful product candidates, with Quell responsible for the process development and manufacturing of clinical candidates through to the end of the first-in-human clinical study.
“We are extremely pleased to have AstraZeneca on board as our first major partner. This collaboration builds on our pioneering work to develop exquisitely engineered, multi-modular Treg cell therapies for immune disorders and provides excellent validation for the technologies and capabilities we have established,” said Iain McGill, CEO of Quell.
Quell will receive $85 million upfront from AstraZeneca, which comprises a cash payment plus an undisclosed equity investment. The transaction is valued in the aggregate at more than $2 billion upon fulfillment of all applicable development and commercialisation milestones, plus tiered royalties.
Quell also retains the option, exercisable either after approval of an investigational new drug (IND) application or at the end of the phase I/II clinical study, to co-develop Treg cell therapies from the T1D program with AstraZeneca in the US in exchange for additional milestone payments and increased royalties on US net sales.
Cooley partner Tom Goodman also advised Quell on financing matters.
Cooley’s global life sciences capabilities are unmatched. The firm represents nearly 2,500 public and private life sciences clients worldwide, including almost 50% of the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index. Clients include innovative biotech and specialty pharmaceutical companies at the forefront of new technologies, including cell and gene therapies, artificial intelligence-led drug discovery and new vaccine technologies. Cooley was recently named Law360’s Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year and has been the #1 venture capital law firm for biotech and pharma venture financings for the last decade (PitchBook). Cooley also is the #1 firm for issuer-side life sciences initial public offerings (Deal Point Data) – a title held since 2000 – and was named the Licensing & Collaboration Firm of the Year by LMG Life Sciences in 2022. Simon Amies joined Cooley in May 2023 and Frances Stocks Allen in June 2022 as part of the firm’s life sciences expansion of its London office.
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