Otsu/Shiga, Japan — November 1, 2012 – Takara Bio Inc. announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Houston, Texas, USA). With the agreement, Takara Bio granted Bellicum Pharmaceuticals a non-exclusive, worldwide license to use Takara Bio’s RetroNectin® mediated gene transduction technology in the development and commercialization of gene therapies using suicide genes.

RetroNectin® is a recombinant human fibronectin fragment developed by Takara Bio in collaboration with Indiana University, which increases transduction efficiency in retrovirus mediated gene therapy. More than 44 institutes and hospitals worldwide use RetroNectin® for their gene therapy clinical trials. Bellicum is the fifth company that Takara Bio has granted a Retronectin® commercial use license.


Bellicum Pharmaceuticals’s CaspaCIDe™ technology consists of a suicide gene and a highly specific small molecule dimerizer that when subsequently administered triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death). RetroNectin® will be used for viral gene transduction of donor T cells with the suicide gene.


[ About Takara Bio Inc. ]

Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of the RetroNectin® reagent, which is a world-standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene and cell-based therapy, and agricultural biotechnology; and is committed preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, the Company aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at http://www.takara-bio.com.


[ About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ]

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing clinical applications of chemical induction of dimerization (CID), a drug-based remote control technology that extends the physician’s reach beyond the point at which a treatment has been administered. Bellicum’s mission is to leverage this smart technology to bring safe, effective, innovative cell therapies to market for patients with serious and life threatening diseases. For more information, visit http://www.bellicum.com.