SANFORD – Global pharmaceutical firm Astellas, which operates a $100 million gene therapy manufacturing plant in Sanford, is investing $50 million in San Diego-based Poseida Therapeutics.

Asetllas also maintains a gene therapy-focused center of excellence in Sanford.

The company is backing Poseida’s development efforts of gene therapies that target cancer and other what it calls “rare diseases.”

The deal calls for Poseida to acquire 8.3 million shares at $3 each of Poseida for some $25 million.

Astellas will also make a one-time payment of $25 million for “certain strategic rights,” the companies said.

$100M gene therapy plant that will employ 200 at $83,000 a year opens in Sanford

“We are excited to announce a strategic investment by Astellas, a premier global pharmaceutical company that shares our strategic vision for the future of genetic engineering and cell and gene therapies. This investment further validates our technology and approach and also reflects our broad strategic options in progressing the business,” said Mark Gergen, Poseida’s Chief Executive Officer. “Based on this investment and cost control measures implemented in the business, we are extending our cash runway guidance as we remain focused on being good stewards of capital. As we look towards the future, we are taking recent learnings from our allogeneic programs and implementing improvements across our clinical trials. Based on these findings, we are adjusting guidance on data updates and look forward to sharing clinical data highlighting some of these enhancements at a medical meeting later this year, with plans for a more robust clinical update to follow in mid-2024.”