Japanese pharmaceutical company Ono Pharmaceutical entered a strategic collaboration agreement with US’s Fate Therapeutics for the joint development and commercialization of two CAR-T cell product candidates for cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, Ono will pay $10 million upfront payment, plus up to additional $60 million.

Fate retains global responsibility for development and commercialization of the first candidate (an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived CAR T-cell candidate targeting an antigen expressed on certain lymphoblastic leukemias), with Ono having an option for Asia. The second candidate targets a novel antigen identified by Ono and expressed on certain solid tumors; in this case, the Japanese company has  an option to assume global responsibility for further development and commercialization, while Fate retains right to co-develop and co-commercialize the product in the US and Europe. In both cases, Fate retains manufacturing responsibilities on a global basis.