Ziopharm Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) shares moved higher Wednesday after announcing it will partner with TriArm Therapeutics Ltd in a venture called Eden BioCell Ltd to lead clinical development and commercialization of Sleeping Beauty-generated CAR-T therapies in China, Korea and the territories of Macau and Hong Kong.
Ziopharm will license the rights to Eden BioCell for third-generation Sleeping Beauty-generated CAR-T therapies targeting the CD19 antigen.
Eden BioCell will be owned 50-50 by Ziopharm and TriArm. TriArm has committed up to $35 million to this joint venture.
Under the terms of the agreement, Eden BioCell has rights in the region to CAR-T cells that are rapidly manufactured in two days or less using the Sleeping Beauty platform to express a CD19-specific CAR and membrane-bound interleukin-15, or mbIL15, along with a kill switch.
“Advancing our Sleeping Beauty platform in the China region is a key part of both our business development and clinical development strategies,” said Ziopharm CEO Laurence Cooper.
Shares of Ziopharm rose over 9% to $21.76 in early trade.
TriArm is a cell therapy company with operations in Germany, China and the United States that was formed by Panacea Venture Healthcare, a fund co-founded and managed by James Huang, the Managing Partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China (KPCB China).
TriArm will manage all clinical development to execute trials in China for Eden BioCell. The TriArm team has considerable experience in all areas of drug development, including scientific research, clinical and regulatory areas, as well as significant laboratory and manufacturing know-how regarding T-cell therapies.
Ziopharm Oncology is a biotechnology company that focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing a portfolio of immuno-oncology therapies for treating heterogenous solid tumors and unknown antigens.
The company is based in Boston.
Contact Rene Pastor by [email protected]