Cellectis Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter and First Nine Months 2023
Published on November 06, 2023
- Strategic Collaboration and Investment Agreements signed with AstraZeneca
- Updated results of the Phase I BALLI-01 Trial evaluating UCART22 in r/r B-cell ALL and preliminary results of the Phase I NATHALI-01 Trial evaluating UCART20x22 in r/r B-cell NHL to be presented at ASH 65th Annual meeting.
- Clinical trials ongoing: BALLI-01 (evaluating UCART22), NATHALI-01 (evaluating UCART20x22) and AMELI-01 (evaluating UCART123) studies for patients with r/r B-cell ALL, r/r B-cell NHL and r/r AML, respectively.
- Preclinical data on HSPC gene therapy and a comprehensive analysis of TALE-BE editing determinants presented at ESGCT 2023 30th annual congress.
- Preclinical data on Multi-armored Allogeneic MUC1-CAR T-cells targeting Triple-Negative Breast at SITC 2023 annual event.
- Cash position of $72 million as of September 30, 2023. Cash runway into 2026 including Initial AstraZeneca Investment and Potential Additional AstraZeneca Investment.
- Conference call scheduled for 8.00am ET / 2.00 pm CET on November 7, 2023
New York, NY – November 6, 2023 - Cellectis (the “Company”) (Euronext Growth: ALCLS - NASDAQ: CLLS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company using its pioneering gene editing platform to develop life-saving cell and gene therapies, today provided business updates and financial results for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2023.
On November 1st 2023, Cellectis and AstraZeneca Holdings B.V. (“AstraZeneca”) entered into a joint research collaboration agreement (the “Collaboration Agreement”), pursuant to which AstraZeneca makes an upfront payment of $25 million, an investment agreement relating to an initial equity investment of $80 million (the “Initial Investment Agreement”) and a non-binding memorandum of understanding relating to an additional equity investment subject to conditions set forth in the MOU of $140 millions (the “MOU”).
This research collaboration will leverage Cellectis’ gene editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to accelerate the development of next-generation therapeutics in areas of high unmet need, including oncology, immunology and rare diseases. Cellectis has exclusively reserved 25 genetic targets for AstraZeneca, from which up to 10 novel candidate products could be explored for development. Cellectis’ clinical-stage assets, UCART22, UCART123 and UCART20x22 will remain under Cellectis’ ownership and control.
UCART Clinical Development Programs
BALLI-01 (evaluating UCART22) in relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r B-ALL)
Cellectis will present a poster at the ASH Annual Meeting with updated results of the Phase I BALLI-01 Trial of UCART22 (P2), an anti-CD22 allogeneic CAR T- cell product manufactured in-house, in patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) CD22+ B-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).
The poster presentation highlights the following data:
- In vitro comparability studies suggested that UCART22 process 2 (P2) (manufactured in-house) is more potent than UCART22 process 1 (P1) (manufactured by an external CDMO), and as of July 1st, 2023, 3 patients were enrolled into the first UCART22 P2 cohort at dose level 2 (1 million cells/kg).
- UCART22 P2 was administered after fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and alemtuzumab (FCA) lymphodepletion and was well tolerated. No DLTs or ICANS was observed, and the CRS observed was Grade 1 or 2.
- There was a higher preliminary response rate (67%) at dose level 2 with one million cells/kg with UCART22 P2 compared to 50% response rate with a dose 5 times higher at dose level 3 of UCART22 P1 that was manufactured by an external CDMO.
- UCART22 expansion was observed in the responding patients and correlated with increases in serum cytokines and inflammatory markers.
- The study continues to enroll patients at dose level 2i (2.5 million cells/kg) with UCART22 P2.
NATHALI-01 (evaluating UCART20x22) in relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (r/r B-NHL)
Cellectis will present a poster at the ASH Annual Meeting with the initial preliminary results from the NATHALI-01 trial (NCT05607420), a Phase 1/2a dose-finding and expansion study evaluating UCART20x22 in r/r B-cell NHL.
The poster presentation highlights the following data:
- As of July 1st, 2023, 3 patients were enrolled and treated at dose level 1 (50 million cells). Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) Grade 1 or 2 occurred in all patients, and all CRS resolved with treatment. No immune effector cell associated neurotoxicity (ICANS) or graft versus host disease (GvHD) was observed. There were no UCART20x22 dose limiting toxicities (DLTs), and there was 1 DLT in connection with CLLS52 (alemtuzumab).
- All patients responded at Day 28, with 1 partial metabolic response and 2 complete metabolic responses in patients who had failed prior autologous CD19 CAR T-cell therapies.
- UCART20x22 expansion correlated with increases in serum cytokine and inflammatory marker levels as well as with CRS.
- These initial data support the continued study of UCART20x22 in r/r B-cell NHL.
AMELI-01 (evaluating UCART123) in relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (r/r AML)
- UCART123 is an allogeneic CAR T-cell product candidate targeting CD123 and is being evaluated in patients with r/r AML in the AMELI-01 Phase 1 dose-escalation clinical study.
- The AMELI-01 study is currently enrolling patients after FCA lymphodepletion in a two-dose regimen arm.
Research Data & Preclinical Programs
- Cellectis announced the publication of a new research paper in Molecular Therapy – Methods & Clinical Development, demonstrating the efficacy of its TALEN-mediated gene correction of mutated PIK3CD gene in Activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase delta syndrome 1 (APDS1) T-cells.
- Cellectis presented encouraging data on gene editing process using TALEN®-based gene editing platform, to overcome the challenges of the “cold” tumor microenvironment in a poster at the CICON 2023 (CRI-ENCI-AACR 7th International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference).
- Cellectis presented preclinical data on MUC1-CAR T-cells to overcome key challenges of targeting solid tumors in a poster session at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 38th Annual Meeting (SITC 2023).
- Cellectis presented preclinical data on its program of gene therapy for HSPC at the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) 30th annual congress.
- Cellectis presented a comprehensive analysis of TALE-BE editing determinants at the European Society of gene and Cell Therapy (ESGST) 30th annual congress.
Licensed Allogeneic CAR T-cell Development Programs
Allogene Therapeutics, Inc.’s CAR T programs utilize Cellectis technologies. ALLO-501 and ALLO-501A are anti-CD19 products that were jointly developed under a collaboration agreement between Les Laboratoires Servier (“Servier”) and Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (“Allogene”) until 15 December 2022 based on an exclusive license granted by Cellectis to Servier. Servier grants to Allogene exclusive rights to ALLO-501 and ALLO-501A in the U.S., Allogene continues the development for this territory while Servier retains exclusive rights for all other countries. Allogene’s anti-CD70 and anti-Claudin18.2 programs are licensed exclusively from Cellectis to Allogene and Allogene holds global development and commercial rights to these programs.
Servier and Allogene: anti-CD19 programs
- Allogene announced that its ALPHA2 study will enroll approximately 100 patients who have received at least two prior lines of therapy and have not received prior anti-CD19 therapy.
- Allogene announced it will have two poster presentations from the ALPHA/ALPHA2 trials focused on lymphodepletion in allogeneic cell therapy at ASH 2023. The first poster is a comprehensive safety review of all 85 patients treated in the Phase 1 ALPHA/ALPHA2 studies in relapsed/refractory (r/r) Large B Cell Lymphoma (LBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL) to characterize the overall safety profile when ALLO-647 is added to standard lymphodepletion. The second poster showcases translational results from ALPHA2 generated through a collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center. This study compared expansion kinetics among 11 allogeneic CAR T recipients treated with the ALLO-501A product candidate in the ALPHA2 trial. According to Allogene, this study revealed the impact of recipient alloreactive CD8+ T cells in allogeneic CAR T rejection and the results of this study could help define strategies to improve allogeneic CAR T expansion, persistence and efficacy.
Allogene: anti-CD70 and anti-Claudin18.2 programs
- Allogene announced that the Phase 1 dose escalation TRAVERSE trial in patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) who have progressed on standard therapies including an immune checkpoint inhibitor and a VEGF-targeting therapy is ongoing.
- Allogene announced that SITC 2023 will include a review of research which provided early validation of ALLO-182, an AlloCAR T candidate currently in the IND-enabling phase of development targeting Claudin18.2 for the treatment of patients with gastric and pancreatic cancers.
Strategic Collaboration and Investment Agreements with AstraZeneca
Under the terms of the Collaboration Agreement, AstraZeneca will leverage Cellectis’ proprietary gene editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to design novel cell and gene therapy candidate products. As part of the Collaboration Agreement, 25 genetic targets have been exclusively reserved for AstraZeneca, from which up to 10 candidate products could be explored for development. AstraZeneca will have an option for a worldwide exclusive license on the candidate products, to be exercised before IND filing. Cellectis’ clinical-stage assets, UCART22, UCART123 and UCART20x22 will remain under Cellectis’ ownership and control.
Pursuant to the Collaboration Agreement, Cellectis’ research costs under the collaboration will be funded by AstraZeneca and Cellectis will receive an upfront payment of $25 million. Under the terms of the Collaboration Agreement, Cellectis is also eligible to receive an investigational new drug (IND) option fee and development, regulatory and sales-related milestone payments, ranging from $70 million up to $220 million, per each of the 10 candidate products, plus tiered royalties.
As a condition to the signing of the Collaboration Agreement, AstraZeneca has agreed to make an initial equity investment of $80 million in Cellectis by subscribing for 16,000,000 ordinary shares, at a price of $5.00 per share (the “Initial Investment”). The new shares are issued to AstraZeneca by the board of directors of Cellectis pursuant to the 17th resolution of Cellectis’ shareholders meeting held on June 27, 2023. Following settlement and delivery of the new shares (expected to be on November 6, 2023), AstraZeneca will own approximately 22% of the share capital, and 21% of the voting rights of the Company, will have the right to nominate a non-voting observer on the board of directors of Cellectis, and will have the right to participate pro rata in Cellectis’s future share offerings.
Additionally, the MOU contemplates that AstraZeneca will make a potential further equity investment in Cellectis of $140 million by subscribing for two newly created classes of convertible preferred shares of Cellectis: 10,000,000 “class A” convertible preferred shares and 18,000,000 “class B” convertible preferred shares, in each case at a price of $5.00 per share (the “Additional Investment”). Until they convert into ordinary shares, the “class A" convertible preferred shares would have single voting rights and would not carry any double voting right at any moment, and the “class B” would carry no voting rights except on any distribution of dividends or reserves. Both class of preferred shares would enjoy a liquidation preference (if any liquidation surplus remains after repayment of Cellectis’ creditors and of par value to all shareholders) and would be convertible into the same number of ordinary shares with the same rights as the outstanding ordinary shares. The MOU is non-binding and the Additional Investment remains to be confirmed by both parties following a consultation process with Cellectis’ works council. If confirmed, the closing of the Additional Investment will remain subject to (i) Cellectis’ shareholders’ approval at a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by voting shareholders, (ii) clearance of such investment from the French Ministry of Economy according to the foreign direct investment French regulations, and (iii) other customary closing conditions. Immediately following the Additional Investment, it is anticipated that AstraZeneca would own approximately 44% of the share capital of the Company and 30% of the voting rights of the Company (based on the number of voting rights outstanding immediately after the completion of the Initial Investment) and would have the right to nominate two directors to the board of directors of Cellectis. Further, certain business decisions are subject to AstraZeneca’s approval, including, in particular, winding up any company of the Cellectis group, issuing securities senior to or pari passu with the convertible preferred shares or any shares without offering AstraZeneca the option to purchase its pro rata share of such securities (subject to customary exceptions, including issuances under employee equity incentive plans), declaring or paying dividends, prepaying indebtedness before due, and disposing of any material assets concerning gene editing tools or manufacturing facilities and selling, assigning, licensing, encumbering or otherwise disposing of certain material IP rights.