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CSL Behring to buy US biotechnology firm Calimmune

CSL Behring, the US subsidiary of Australia-based CSL has agreed to acquire Calimmune, an American biotechnology company focused on developing ex vivo hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy.

The CSL subsidiary will pay an upfront payment of $91m for the acquisition. CSL Behring will get to add a pre-clinical asset in CAL-H, an HSC gene therapy to its portfolio as a result of the transaction.

CAL-H is being developed by Calimmune as a new treatment option for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia. Its addition is expected to complement the CSL subsidiary’s current product portfolio and deep expertise in hematology.

CSL CEO and managing director Paul Perreault said: “Calimmune’s scientific accomplishments are impressive.

“The team has built a robust technology platform, and designed a promising HSC gene therapy candidate – CAL-H, which strongly aligns with our longer-term strategic goals, and complements our core competencies and areas of therapeutic focus.”

In addition to the HSC gene therapy, CSL Behring will also own two unique proprietary platform technologies in Select+ and Cytegrity from the Calimmune transaction. The two technologies as per CSL have multiple applications in ex vivo stem cell gene therapy.

Both Select+ and Cytegrity have been developed to solve some of the important challenges relating to the commercialization of stem cell therapy.

Calimmune CEO Louis Breton said: “We are excited to become part of CSL Behring. They are an established global industry leader in protein-replacement therapies and have a proven track record of driving innovations through the development pipeline and delivering differentiated products to the global marketplace.

“Together, we are well positioned to take our achievements to the next level.”

Calimmune maintains research and development (R&D) facilities in Pasadena, California and in Sydney, Australia.