Kelonia Therapeutics Enters $800M Research Collaboration and Licensing Agreement with Xyphos Biosciences

February 15, 2024Client News

Gunderson Dettmer represented biotech client Kelonia Therapeutics in its $800 million research collaboration and licensing agreement with Xyphos Biosciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas Pharma. Kelonia is a biotech company pioneering a new wave of genetic medicines using its in vivo gene placement system (iGPS®). Xyphos holds a novel and proprietary ACCEL™ technology platform that uses its convertibleCAR® on immune cells.

To develop novel Immuno-Oncology therapeutics, the companies plan to combine Kelonia's iGPS® with Xyphos' ACCEL™ technology to develop innovative in vivo CAR-T Cell therapies targeting up to two programs. Xyphos will be responsible for the development and commercialization of products created from the collaborative research. Kelonia will receive $40 million upfront for the first program, and an additional $35 million should Xyphos exercise its options for the second program, and potential milestones and contingency payments approaching $800 million in total.

In the announcement of the agreement, CEO and Founder of Kelonia, Kevin Friedman, PH.D. said, “Our iGPS platform has the potential to be a step change in the treatment of cancer. Combining Kelonia's in vivo gene delivery capabilities with the ACCEL™ convertible CAR technology is an ideal marriage of technologies to create off-the-shelf, universal CAR-T Cell therapies. We see revolutionary promise in this approach, and will work diligently with our partners at Astellas to unlock its full potential for patients that need it most."

The Gunderson Dettmer team was led by Tim Ehrlich and Aliya Sanders and included David Koenig.

Kelonia Therapeutics
Xyphos Biosciences
Astellas Pharma