AstraZeneca today announced the successful completion of an equity investment with Cellectis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company.

The equity investment and a research collaboration agreement, announced in November 2023 will leverage the Cellectis proprietary gene editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities, to design up to 10 novel cell and gene therapy products for areas of high unmet need, including oncology, immunology and rare diseases.

Financial considerations
In Q4 2023, Cellectis received an initial payment of $105m from AstraZeneca, which comprised a $25m upfront cash payment under the terms of a research collaboration agreement and an $80m equity investment.

An additional $140m equity investment, at $5/share, has closed following the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including Cellectis shareholders’ approval and regulatory clearances. Post-closing of this second investment, AstraZeneca holds a total equity stake of c.44% in Cellectis. AstraZeneca expects to continue to treat its investment in Cellectis as an associate.

Under the terms of the research collaboration, Cellectis is also eligible to receive an investigational new drug (IND) option fee and development, regulatory and sales-related milestone payments, ranging from $70m up to $220m, per each of the 10 candidate products, plus tiered royalties.

AstraZeneca retains an option for a worldwide exclusive license for the candidate products developed under the research collaboration agreement, to be exercised before IND filing.