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AbbVie announces further industry and academic collaborations

Published on 22/04/16 at 09:39am

AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) has announced further collaborations that will see it partner with industry and academia to develop oncology candidates and treatments.

Just after announcing its acquisition of an immune-oncology target from argenx, the US-based firm has entered into a collaboration with CytomX Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTMX) to co-develop and commercialise Probody Drug Conjugates against CD71. This protein is highly expressed in a number of solid and haematologic tumours, and Probody therapeutics are designed to take advantage of unique conditions in the tumour microenvironment to enhance the tumour-targeting features of an antibody and reduce drug activity in healthy tissues.

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie has paid $30 million upfront to CytomX with the latter eligible to receive up to $470 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones. CytomX will also be eligible to receive a profit share in the US as well tiered double-digit royalties on net product sales outside of the US.

Steve Davidsen, VP of oncology drug discovery at AbbVie, says: “We are encouraged by the promising preclinical data that CytomX has generated for their Probody drug conjugate programs to-date and look forward to working closely with their team. This collaboration will enable us to expand our innovative pipeline in antibody drug conjugates and leverage our strength in that area to previously unexplored targets.”

In other AbbVie partnership news, the company has entered into a five-year collaboration agreement designed to improve the pace of discovery and advance medical research in oncology at both organisations.

This research will focus on several areas of oncology, including breast, lung, prostate, colorectal and haematological cancer. AbbVie will provide funding that can be used for purposes including preclinical research, clinical trials and possible future programs at the University, while physicians from the institution will have the opportunity to participate in AbbVie-sponsored clinical trials, and access new therapies developed by AbbVie for use in preclinical research funded under the collaboration.

Gary Gordon, VP of oncology clinical development at AbbVie, comments: “Advancements in oncology, both at the basic science and clinical levels, are happening faster and more broadly every day. Collaborating closely with the scientists and clinicians at the University of Chicago allows us to expand our own research efforts even further to benefit patients.”

Sean Murray

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