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Blackstone Invests $250M in Cell Therapy Developer Autolus

NEW YORK – Autolus Therapeutics, a London-headquartered firm developing T-cell treatments, on Monday said Blackstone Life Sciences will provide up to $250 million in equity and product financing.

Blackstone, an investment and clinical development firm, will provide $150 million to help Autolus advance its CAR T-cell product obecabtagene autoleucel (obe-cel) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and B-cell malignancies.

The firm will pay Autolus $50 million upon closing of the transaction and the remaining $100 million based on certain development and regulatory achievements. Blackstone will also buy $100 million of Autolus' American Depositary Shares in a private placement.

The investment comes as Autolus' Phase II FELIX trial investigating obe-cel as a treatment for ALL is slated to readout in 2022. The company is also exploring the CAR T-cell therapy in a Phase I trial for other blood cancers, including B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and primary CNS lymphoma. Autolus also has five other CAR T-cell therapies in development for the treatment of pediatric ALL, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, neuroblastoma, and other tumor types.

The investment from Blackstone will allow Autolus to complete the FELIX trial in ALL and fund initial pre-approval commercial activities for obe-cel in this market.

Moelis & Company acted as financial adviser for this transaction. Cooley and Cooley in the UK acted as legal adviser to Autolus, and Goodwin Procter acted as legal adviser to Blackstone.