Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Xencor has entered into a research collaboration with Astellas Pharma for novel bispecific antibody program.
As part of a research and license agreement, Astellas Pharma will be able to use Xencor’s bispecific technology to advance a novel bispecific antibody program in oncology.
The partnership will focus on generation of bispecific antibodies directed toward a selected anti-tumor target for the potential treatment of patients with cancer.
Astellas will have an exclusive worldwide license for the development and commercialization of novel drug candidates.
As per terms of the deal, Xencor will use its bispecific technology for the creation of multiple bispecific antibody candidates against the target specified by Astellas and will conduct initial characterization of the molecules.
Astellas will take the responsibility of preclinical and clinical development and regulatory and commercial activities.
Xencor will also secure an upfront payment, and also receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and high-single digit to low-double digit percentage royalties on net sales.
Xencor president and CEO Bassil Dahiyat said: “Xencor’s modular antibody engineering platform enables the rapid generation of proprietary programs for our broad pipeline of drug candidates and for our partners, as well.
“Our XmAb bispecific Fc domains enable antibodies and other protein structures that bind two or more different targets simultaneously, which inherently provides a wide range of potential drug candidates.
“Our partnership with Astellas further expands the potential of XmAb bispecifics to create new therapies for patients with cancer.”
In August 2018, Pfizer and Astellas Pharma have made amendments to the protocols for two registrational phase 3 trials, including Arches and Embark, designed to assess the safety and efficacy of Xtandi (enzalutamide) in men with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (HSPC).
Xencor is involved in the development of engineered monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases.
At present, 12 candidates engineered with Xencor’s XmAb technology are under clinical development internally and with partners.
The XmAb antibody engineering technology allows small changes to be made to the structure of monoclonal antibodies to create new mechanisms of therapeutic action.