Cellistic, the cell therapy development and manufacturing business of Ncardia BV, and Celyad Oncology (Euronext & Nasdaq: CYAD), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapies for cancer, announced today a transaction whereby Cellistic will acquire Celyad Oncology’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) grade cell therapy manufacturing capability, including the existing facility and all related personnel (the “Manufacturing Business Unit”).
Under the terms of an asset purchase agreement between Celyad Oncology and Cellistic, Cellistic agreed to acquire Celyad Oncology’s Manufacturing Business Unit in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, for a total consideration of €6 million. Celyad Oncology’s experienced manufacturing team will join Cellistic. The transaction is subject to a number of customary conditions precedent and is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We at Cellistic are incredibly excited to welcome this uniquely talented team into our organization,” said Stefan Braam, founder and CEO of Cellistic. “We’re bringing aboard a group of people whose passion and capabilities align incredibly well with our vision for the future of cell therapy. As a joined force, we have the talent and resources to further accelerate work on our proprietary platforms and the capability to enable Cellistic’s partners to bring iPSC-based allogeneic cell therapies to patients faster.”
Michel Lussier, co-founder and interim CEO of Celyad Oncology, said, “We have focused our efforts on an allogeneic approach for the past few years and our manufacturing facility and staff has been a key element to enable many of our past trials, but has been underutilized in recent years as we mainly used the facility for our autologous candidates. Our current allogeneic programs are better suited for outsourced manufacturing. Through existing materials manufactured at Celyad, we have ensured the means to continue our clinical programs with cryopreserved cells until 2024. Based on this strategy, we are confident that this decision to transfer our manufacturing facility and the staff to Cellistic, who is the perfect company for such an agreement, will allow us to further execute on our business goals in the future.”
Cellistic will invest substantial capital into the newly acquired 11,000 square foot facility, which will be optimized for its iPSC-based allogeneic cell therapy platforms and processes creating the world’s first purpose built facility to support customers from cell reprogramming and master cell banking through clinical trial material manufacturing. A team of more than 30 manufacturing, quality and related personnel from Celyad Oncology, all with substantial cell therapy manufacturing and immune-oncology experience, will join Cellistic as part of this transaction.
Celyad Oncology will provide additional guidance on the future business strategy of the Company in the fourth quarter of this year.