Sosei‘s Heptares And Kymab to collaborate on developing new antibody therapeutics

pharmafile | April 18, 2016 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Heptares Therapeutics, Kymab Ltd, Sosei Group, collaboration, drug development, immuno-oncology 

Japan’s Sosei Group Corp (TSE: 4565) has signed a collaboration deal with Kymab Ltd to develop and market novel antibody therapeutics focussed on immuno-oncology. 

Sosei has signed deal via its unit Heptares Therapeutics and would focus on targeting a number of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) for treating cancers. No financial details were disclosed. 

Malcolm Weir, chief executive of Heptares, said: “GPCRs have long been intractable targets for antibody discovery resulting in dearth of products. We believe that our proven StaR technology can unlock this substantial opportunity, not just in immuno-oncology but also across other therapeutic areas where GPCR-targeted biologics could have a significant impact. By entering into strategic collaborations with companies with world-leading antibody discovery technologies, such as Kymab, we have the potential to discover, develop and commercialise a highly valuable pipeline of new biologic products.” 

Under the agreement, Heptares will apply its StaR platform to create stable antigens based on multiple GPCR targets chosen by the companies. Kymab will then use its Kymouse human antibody discovery platform to generate antibodies in response to immunisation with these antigens. 

GPCRs are widely expressed on cells of the innate and adaptive immune system and play key roles in modulating cell migration and recruitment to the tumour environment, activation, survival, proliferation and differentiation. GPCRs act at critical checkpoints that can be targeted by novel immunotherapy antibodies. 

David Chiswell, chief executive of Kymab, said: “Antibodies are important therapeutic agents for cancer and other indications.  Our collaboration with Heptares will allow us to combine stable antigens based on multiple GPCR targets with our world-class Kymouse platform, which has unparalleled diversity and will therefore rapidly identify and yield highly selective potent human monoclonal antibodies for unmet medical needs.” 

Anjali Shukla

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