Celyad and Japan Ono Pharmaceutical Industries Co. Ltd reached an agreement for jointly develop allogeneic NKR-2 T Cell Immunotherapy

Celyad has granted the exclusive license to develop and commercialize Celyad’s allogeneic NKR-2 T Cell Immunotherapy, to market in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Celyad also granted Ono Pharmaceutical an exclusive right to market the autogenous NKR-2 T Cell Immunotherapy products in the above countries. Trading amount up to
313.25 billion yen (282 million Euro or 282 US dollars). In addition, the Ono Pharmaceutical Industries Co. Ltd is allowed to have double digit royalties based on the sales volume.

Celyad in Belgium (Euronest Brussels and Paris and NASDAQ; CYAD) is a leading company in the development of engineering cell therapy. The main focus is in the study of cardiovascular disease and cancer immunization clinical programs. Celyad today announced an exclusive licensing agreement with the development and commercialization of Celyad’s allogenic NKR-2 T cell immunotherapy with Japan’s Ono Pharmaceutical Industries. Inc. (TSE: 4528), a leading Japanese provider of tumor immunotherapy, to market in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. This exclusive license agreement will open a new market for Celyad and significantly rise the global impact of NKR-2 T Cell immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer or other diseases.

Celyad will receive a prepayment of 1.25 billion yen (11.25 million Euros or 11.25 million US dollars) and receive 300.75 billion yen (2.7075 billion euros or 2.7 US dollars) in the payment for the first stage of development and commercialization. Celyad will also receive a two-digit royalties for the net sales of the Ono Pharmaceutical Industrial Co. Ltd.

Under the term of agreement, Celyad will continue its development of allogenic NKR2-T Cell immunotherapy in European and US markets, and Ono will be responsible for the future development and commercialization of its future in Ono’s region (Japan, Korea and Taiwan). The two companies will also look for opportunities to work together to run a global registration test and a combined test. In addition, in order to promote the development and commercialization of autologous NKR2-T cell immunotherapy products, Celyad also granted Ono the exclusive rights to its sale in the above Ono’s region.

“We are pleased with the development of our NKR-2 T Cell allotrope platform in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, said Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad. “This license agreement is

a good opportunity for Celyad to expand the range of tumor immunity‘s clinical projects. This is a breakthrough science to meet the medical needs of patients around the world.

The Vice President of Celyad Mr. George Rawadi also expressed that Celyad is working with the world’s leading cancer immunologist. This explained that Celyad is now working together with Ono Pharmaceutical Company. Through the commercial license agreement, Celyad aims to expand the clinical and commercial potential of our allogenic NKR-2 T Cell immunotherapy worldwide.
The Ono representative and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Gyo Sagar said that they are very glad to be associated with Celyad, the leading immunotherapy company. They believe that it will provide patient a new treatment option.


The platform of NKR-T of Celyad
Celyad is developing a unique T cell platform based on the Natural Killer Cell Receptor (NKR) and targeting various types of hematological and sloid tumors. Unlike conventional CAR-T techniques that only recognize single-cell tumor antigens. Natural Killer (NK) cell receptors recognize multiple tumor antigens.
Celyad’s prominent creation NKR-2, is a T cell that has been transformed to express human natural cell receptor (NKG2D), which binds to any of the eight naturally occurring ligands that are abundantly expressed in 80% of the attach cell that kill the tumor cell .
Clinical research showed that the NKR-2 can be directly killed by the tumor cells by the encoded T cells. There are still multiple mechanisms to attack the tumor cells. The mechanism that inhibits the immune system that causes the tumor to escape the organism, initiates the recruitment of anti-tumor immune cells and the destruction of tumor. These mechanisms can promote the induction of this adaptive autoimmune response and produce long-term immune effects on specific tumors.
Unlike conventional CAR-T treatments, Celyad’s NKR-2 does not lead to pre-treatment of lymphatic depletion in patients with strong preclinical data. This can avoid the toxicity of chemotherapy and making the immune system unaffected.
Celyad is developing both autologous and allogeneic NKR-2. For autologous NKR-2, Celyad collects the patient’s own T cell and transforms them to express NKG2D to effectively attack tumor cells. The allogeneic platform transforms T lymphocytes from healthy donors to express TCR inhibitory molecules (TIMs) to prevent T cells from being deformed by the patient’s normal tissue.
The technique was originally developed by Professor Charles Sentman of Dartmouth

College and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

NKR-NKR-2 is now in Phase I clinical trials, with the aim to assess the safety and feasibility of NKR-2 in patients with acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma, including the clinical efficacy of the phase II clinical trials. The main research is to screen and understand the persistence of NKR-2 cells in patients.


Ono Pharmaceutical Industrial Ltd.
Ono‘s headquarter is in Osaka, Japan. A company for research and development which is focused to the creation of innovative drugs in specific areas, with particular attention to both cancer and diabetes.
For more information, please visit the homepage at http://www.ono.co.jp/eng/index.html