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Ropes & Gray Represents Blackstone Life Sciences in Collaboration to Launch New Cell Therapy Company

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Ropes & Gray advised Blackstone Life Sciences in its combination with gene editing drugmaker Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. and German cell manufacturer Cellex Cell Professionals GmbH to create a new CAR T-cell company to develop cell therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases. The transaction was announced on June 22.

 Blackstone Life Sciences has committed $250 million toward the launch of the new biotechnology company with CRISPR genome editing technology from Intellia and autologous (self-donating) and allogeneic (off-the-shelf) universal chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell platforms from Cellex.

Upon formation, Blackstone Life Sciences, Intellia and Cellex, and certain related entities, will each have equal ownership of the new company. The new company and Intellia will also simultaneously enter into a co-development and co-funding (Co-Co) agreement to develop an allogeneic universal CAR T-cell product for an immuno-oncology indication. Intellia will have one additional option to enter into a second Co-Co agreement from selected allogeneic universal CAR T-cell therapy products that the parties will develop under the collaboration.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by life sciences partners Michael Beauvais and Abigail Gregor and life sciences associates Rajarshi Banerjee and Adam Stein (all of Boston) and included employment & benefits partners Megan Bisk and Renata Ferrari, tax partner Pam Glazier (all of Boston), litigation & enforcement partner Ama Adams (Washington, D.C.), life sciences regulatory & compliance partner Al Cacozza (Washington, D.C.), IP transactions counsel Emilia Cannella (Boston) and Ryan Murphey (New York), litigation & enforcement counsel Brendan Hanifin (Chicago), Deidre Johnson (Boston) and Lisa Kaltenbrunner (London).

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