Super-Charging the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Innovative immunotherapies for cancer are a step closer to reality thanks to a commercial licence agreement between Australia’s Cartherics Pty. Ltd. and South Korea-based ToolGen, Inc.

Melbourne, Australia and Seoul, South Korea

28 June 2021

Cartherics Pty Ltd (“Cartherics”) and ToolGen, Inc. (“ToolGen”) announced today that they have entered into a commercial licence agreement.

Under the agreement, Cartherics obtains world-wide rights to ToolGen’s intellectual property (IP) relating to the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for genome editing involving the insertion of CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) genes and deletion (knock-out) of specific genes that code for proteins that inhibit immune cell function.

Cartherics intends to apply the ToolGen technology to the development of autologous gene-edited CAR-T cells and allogeneic gene-edited CAR-NK cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) targeting the TAG-72 tumour associated antigen.

Cartherics CEO Professor Alan Trounson said: “We are delighted to execute this agreement with ToolGen, one of the pioneering companies in the gene-editing space. ToolGen has been an excellent collaborator over the past two years, culminating in this commercial licence agreement.  We are committed to utilising ToolGen’s gene-editing technologies with our product candidates.”

ToolGen CEO Dr Youngho Kim commented: “This agreement leverages ToolGen’s and Cartherics’ cutting-edge technologies for the development of innovative, cell-based products for the treatment of cancer. We look forward to working together with Cartherics to develop next-generation cell therapies for cancer.”

The terms of the licence agreement include up-front fees, milestone payments and royalties on product sales, but details remain confidential.  As part of the payment terms, ToolGen will obtain an equity stake in Cartherics.

Further information:

Cartherics Pty. Ltd.                                                                   ToolGen Inc.

Professor Alan Trounson AO                                                   Hyunseung Shim, Business Strategy

+61 427 770 811                                                                           +82 10 9970 0883                                     

About Cartherics:

Cartherics Pty Ltd is a privately-held biotechnology company based in Melbourne, Australia. It is developing cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, with a portfolio of CAR-T and CAR-NK cell products. The Company’s allogeneic (“off-the-shelf”) cell platform is based upon induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from donated cord blood that can be differentiated into NK cells, T cells and other cells of the immune system. The iPSCs are genetically engineered to provide enhanced function for the derived NK and other immune cells.  

About ToolGen:

ToolGen, Inc. is a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on the development and application of genome editing technologies. It creates and holds intellectual property rights for essential tools and technologies for editing the genetic information in microbial, plant, animal, and human cells. ToolGen’s mission is to translate the potential of our innovative platform technology into transformative products for biomedicine and agriculture. For more information, please visit