Maxim Office Park tenant, TC BioPharm Ltd (TCB), and bluebird bio, Inc., have announced a strategic collaboration and license agreement focused on gamma delta CAR T cells. The companies will work together to advance TC BioPharm’s lead CAR-engineered gamma delta T cell program into clinical trials as well as on additional hematologic and solid tumour targets.


Commenting on the partnership, TCB’s chief executive, Michael Leek, PhD, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside bluebird bio to discover and develop next-generation CAR T cell therapies based on our innovative ImmuniCAR platform. Both companies share the same dynamic culture, passion and drive, spearheaded by an overwhelming desire to treat cancer patients with the potential to dramatically improve each individual’s prognosis and quality of life.”


Under the terms of the agreement, bluebird bio and TCB will collaborate to discover and develop CAR-engineered gamma delta T cells for cancer targets and indications. TCB is responsible for development of all targets through Phase 1/2, at which point bluebird has the exclusive option to assume sole responsibility for further clinical development and commercialisation on a global basis.


Artin Moussavi, PhD, chief business officer at TCB, added:  “We believe our gamma delta T cell platform has broad therapeutic potential.  The collaboration with bluebird bio, a leader in cell and gene therapy, recognises the enormous potential of ImmuniCAR to deliver life-changing medicines.”


TCB employs approximately 60 highly skilled people in Scotland and this number is set to increase significantly in the coming months.  Earlier this year the company doubled its capacity at Maxim to accommodate this growth, with its total space at Maxim now approximately 16,300 sq ft.


TCB is using the additional space to increase its manufacturing facility as it commences treatment on patients with skin, kidney and lung cancer.  The space is also being using to to develop new products based on ImmuniCAR cancer therapy.


Angela Scott, TCB’s chief operating officer, said:  “The facility expansion allows TCB to treat more cancer patients with our game-changing immunotherapies. The team at Maxim has done everything possible to facilitate our growth in Scotland.”


TCB’s announcement follows the recent news of a second Scottish biotechnology company, Lamellar Biomedical, taking space at Maxim. Fit-out works are currently underway ahead of its January 2018 entry date.