Xencor extends ‘plug-and-play’ deal with Selexis, signs four mAbs

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Traitov
GettyImages/Traitov
Xencor and Selexis will extend their strategic partnership with the signing of four commercial license agreements to advance XmAb bispecific antibody drug candidates.

The agreements reinforce the firms’ 2016 deal​, under which Xencor has been using Selexis SA’s SUREtechnology platform and cell-line development services to make multi-specific antibody cell lines.

According to Selexis, its SUREtechnology platform facilitates the “rapid, stable, and cost-effective production of virtually any recombinant protein and provides seamless integration of the bioproduction continuum, spanning discovery to commercialisation.”

The most recent license agreements are ongoing, and will continue for as long as the products are in active development and/or commercialisation, Selexis vice president of licensing and business development Yemi Onakunle told us.

Xencor – which develops engineered antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, asthma, and cancer – has been able to “establish high-producing and stable CHO cell lines for different bispecific antibody candidates using Selexis’ ​SUREtechnology platform.”

“To date, at least six of these candidates have been the subject of an IND [investigational new drug] filing and/or are in clinical development stages,” ​Onakunle added.

Plug-and-play

Xencor’s XmAb antibody engineering technology enables small changes to the structure of monoclonal antibodies resulting in new mechanisms of therapeutic action, Selexis explained.

Each of Xencor’s Fc domains – including bispecific, immune inhibitor, cytotoxic and Xtend Fc domains – was selected from its pool of engineered variants for optimal biological and physical properties and are “plugged” into Xencor’s and Xencor’s partners’ therapeutic candidates, it added.

“Additionally, in the case of Xencor’s bispecific antibody platform, Selexis is able to “plug” in key pre-defined parameters in the SUREtechnologyplatform to rapidly generate – play – high-producing CHO cell lines expressing bispecific antibodies with high heterodimeric purity,” ​Onakunle told us.

By pre-defining these parameters, Onakunle said the ‘guess work’ associated with the production of Xencor’s therapeutic candidates is removed, “allowing Xencor to focus their efforts on building their pipeline of novel bispecific antibody candidates.”

A number of firms have inked deals with Selexis for its SUREtechnology platform over the past two years, including Merck KGaA​, Sanofi​, ASLAN Pharmaceuticals​, Pieris Pharmaceuticals​, Laboratorios Liomont and Progenics Pharmaceuticals.

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