Shares of South Korean gene therapy company Helixmith Co. weakened Thursday after it admitted its license for chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy was returned by American bio pharmaceutical company Bluebird Bio Inc. due to delay in development.
Helixmith announced in its regulatory filing Thursday that Bluebird Bio officially turned back the license of CAR-T cell therapy as of Wednesday after both parties have not taken any follow-up action to change the deal termination decision by the American drug developer in the 60 days since the notification of the decision on May 7.
On Thursday, shares of Helixmith sank 4.01 percent to close at 31,150 won ($27.21) on Kosdaq.
Since Helixmith failed to make additional indications, it is denied of milestone payment. Helixmith received $1 million from Bluebird Bio for upfront payment when it signed a deal to license out the CAR-T cell therapy technology in December 2015.
The contract does not have clauses about return of down payment, penalty or damage compensation for early termination, the company said.
CAR-T cells are developed by redesigning the T cells to actively find and destroy specific cancer cells by inserting a CAR gene. In this way, CAR-T cells only target tumor associated antigens and minimize damage of normal cells.
By Choi Mira
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