The Danish Biopharma firm will pay Xoma Corporation $5m upfront for the global development and commercialisation rights to its XMetA programme of mAb candidates, but the total cost could add $290m in development and regulatory milestone payments.
The XMetA programme was instigated by Xoma to help develop a new way of treating type 2 diabetes using mAbs that are partial agonists of the insulin receptor, yet are structurally unrelated to insulin and bind at a different site without interfering with insulin binding.
“In vitro data have shown the lead compound in the XMetA program mimics insulin's glucose regulatory functions, but none of its mitogenic actions,” said Xoma’s CMO Paul Rubin.
“Most recently, weekly subcutaneous treatment with the lead molecule in the XMetA program in a clinically relevant animal model of diabetes resulted in robust decreases in hyperglycemia without hypoglycemia and weight gain, along with a significant absolute reduction in HbA1c of 1.2 percent.”
As for the deal, Novo Nordisk spokesperson Katrine Rud von Sperling told this publication it “is a licensing agreement with all responsibilities transferred to Novo Nordisk,” though could not divulge any details as to the manufacturing of these candidates at this time.
Berkeley, California-based Xoma recently sold its GMP antibody production site to immunology firm Agenus for $5m, saying the divestiture was part of a plan to reduce headcount and transform the firm into an endocrine company.