Regenerative medicine company CollPlant and biotechnology firm United Therapeutics have signed a license, development and commercialization agreement for 3D bioprinting of solid-organ scaffolds for human transplants.
The deal integrates recombinant human collagen (rhCollagen) and BioInk technology of CollPlant with United Therapeutics’ regenerative medicine and organ manufacturing capability.
As per the agreement terms, CollPlant has granted United Therapeutics, via its subsidiary Lung Biotechnology PBC, an exclusive license to its technology to produce and use rhCollagen-based BioInk for 3D bioprinted lung transplants.
CollPlant will manufacture and supply BioInk for few years to meet the demand during the development process and will also offer technical support to United Therapeutics.
United Therapeutics also plans to establish a facility in the US to produce the Israeli company’s rhCollagen and BioInk.
Initially, the focus will be on lung manufacturing and the agreement grants United Therapeutics, an option to expand the field of license to add up to three additional organs.
CollPlant CEO Yehiel Tal said: “We strongly believe that our proprietary and proven rhCollagen is the finest building block for regenerative medicine scaffolds available today, and will play a critical role in the organ manufacturing process. As a pioneer in the field, United Therapeutics is the perfect partner for us. This strategic agreement is a major achievement for CollPlant as it aligns us with a global leader, validates our technology and creates value for our shareholders.
“We are honored to have established this important collaboration with United Therapeutics and look forward to working together to bring lifesaving organs to humanity.”
As per the financial terms, once effective, CollPlant will receive an upfront payment of $5m, followed by milestone payments of up to $15m after achieving certain operational and regulatory milestones related to the development of manufactured lungs.
The agreement also has an option to exercise payments of up to $9m and additional developmental milestone payments of up to $15m if United Therapeutics plans to develop manufactured organs other than lungs using CollPlant’s technology.
CollPlant will also receive royalties on sales of the products covered under its patents along with reimbursement for certain costs.
The agreement is subject to certain closing conditions, including receipt of approval of the agreement by the Israel Innovation Authority.
United Therapeutics chairman and CEO Martine Rothblatt said: “We are excited to work with CollPlant’s extraordinary Israeli technology to transform the tobacco plant that is so associated with lung disease into a collagen-expressing plant that will be essential to the production of an unlimited number of transplantable lungs.”