By Anthony O. Goriainoff


AstraZeneca said Friday that it has reached an agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize engineered T-regulatory, or Treg, cell therapies for autoimmune diseases with Quell Therapeutics.

Tregs are specialized T-cells--a type of white blood cells--that act to suppress immune response and maintain homeostasis and self-tolerance.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company said that under the agreement, Quell will receive $85 million upfront in the form of a cash payment and an equity investment. If successful, Quell is eligible to receive more than $2 billion for further development and commercialization milestones plus tiered royalties.

The deal--which encompasses a collaboration, an exclusive option and license agreement--is focused on type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, the company said.

The agreement encomapasses the use of Quell's proprietary toolbox of Treg cell engineering modules which include its Foxp3 Phenotype Lock, AstraZeneca said. This will be leveraged to develop multi-modular Treg cell therapy candidates for major autoimmune disease indications.

"This is aligned with our strategy to target underlying disease drivers to stop or slow disease progression and ultimately accelerate the delivery of transformative care to patients with chronic autoimmune conditions," the company said.


Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2023 02:37 ET (06:37 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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