This Pharma Tie Up Will Develop Cancer Drugs by Biospecific Technology


US based Xencor Inc. has collaborated with Novartis in order to develop and commercialize its bispecific antibodies, including XmAb®14045 which is set to begin clinical development for acute myeloid leukaemia this year, and XmAb®13676 for B-cell malignancies.

xencor pharmaNovartis is one among the 9 partners Xencor has tied up with, including Alexion, Amgen, CSL, Novo Nordisk, to name a few. 

xencor pharma partnerships

As per the agreement, both companies will share development costs for worldwide development of XmAb14045 and XmAb13676. While Xencor will maintain commercialization rights in the U.S.A, Novartis will have commercialization rights in the rest of the world.

With this collaboration, Novartis gains worldwide rights to Xencor’s bispecific technology, enabling development and commercialization of four additional targets selected by Novartis.

Novartis gains a worldwide non-exclusive license to use Xencor’s XmAb Fc technologies for the development of maximum  ten molecules.

Xencor will receive a $150 million upfront payment and is also eligible to receive clinical, regulatory and sales milestone payments for successful programs.

Xencor is also eligible to receive tiered, low double-digit royalties for sale of XmAb14045 and XmAb13676 outside US and mid single-digit tiered royalties for worldwide sales of four proprietary Novartis bispecific molecules.

Bispecific antibodies are engineered to simultaneously bind to different antigen targets and thereby shows multiple biological effects. Xencor’s XmAB Biospecific technology  is developed  to ‘maintain full-length antibody properties in a bispecific antibody, potentially enabling favorable in vivo half-life and simplified manufacturing’.

Xencor’s XmAB Biospecific technology

Figure 1. Schematic representation of Xencor biospecific Fc domains (photo credit: Xencor).

Xencor has previously partnered with different companies for development of XmAB antibody products utilizing XmAB Bispecific technology. Currently, Xencor’s two candidates (XmAb13551 and XmAb bispecific x5) in collaboration with Amgen is in its early development stage and one candidate (XmAb5574/MOR208) in collaboration with Morphosys is in Phase II. These are XmAB antibody drug candidates being developed for different malignancies.

Other than these collaborative candidates, Xencor’s six candidates are currently in its clinical and preclinical programs for diverse symptoms.

This opportunity to work with and learn from a world leader in the late-stage development and commercialization of immune-oncology drugs gives us the opportunity to take our lead drugs through clinical development and into commercialization in the U.S. and, with the other molecules to be developed, continues to expand the reach of our technology.”Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Xencor.

Featured image credit: Team concept. © ChristianChan (Stock Photo ID: 90523322)

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