The agreement announced today will focus on developing bispecific therapeutic antibodies against multiple targets using Shanghai, China-based EpimAb’s Fabs-In-Tandem Immunoglobulin (FIT-Ig) platform in combination with Kymab’s proprietary Kymouse antibody platform.
“The FIT-Ig technology is a novel approach to generating bispecific antibodies from two monoclonal antibodies,” EpimAb COO Stephan Lensky told Biopharma-Reporter.
“Bispecifics based on FIT-Ig fully retain the biological properties of their parental monoclonal antibodies without the need to significantly modify the basic structural elements of the antibody.”
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but Kymab will have the development and commercialisation rights to these bispecifics in all geographical regions outside of China and each firm is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties for development programmes pursued by the other.
This is the first license agreement outside of China for EpimAb.
“All FIT-Igs generated to date are still at preclinical stage. It is the goal of EpimAb and its partners to rapidly advance candidates to the clinic,” Lensky said.
Biopharma firms have shown growing interest in bispecific antibodies - antibodies which bind two different epitopes either on the same, or on different target – and in May fellow bispecific developer and tech firm F-star told this publication they are being viewed as the next generation of antibody therapeutics.
Amgen has already found regulatory success with Blincyto (blinatumomab) in December 2014, a bispecific leukemia therapy. Roche, meanwhile, acquired Dutalys and its DutaMabs bispecific tech platform the same month and received Breakthrough Designation for the candidate ACE910 in September 2015.