WuXi Biologics reveals first HCAb partnership alongside Harbour BioMed

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: GettyImages/Artsanova
(Image: GettyImages/Artsanova
WuXi Biologics has announced it will undertake its first collaborative project to develop and manufacture ‘heavy chain only’ antibodies, through an agreement with Harbour BioMed.

The newly-developed partnership will see Chinese contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) WuXi Biologics provide its services to supply Harbour’s products for clinical trials under investigational new drug (IND) applications across China and throughout the rest of the world.

The ‘heavy chain only’ antibodies (HCAbs) at the heart of the deal can be used to target a broad spectrum of proteins, including cytokines, bacterial and viral targets. The antibodies can be used as alternatives to conventional antibodies, such as monoclonal antibodies.

Harbour notes that the HCAbs have similar pharmacokinetic characteristics to human H2L2 antibodies, another area that the company specialises in. In May 2018, Celsius Therapeutics had struck up a licensing deal to use Harbour’s H2L2 platform to accelerate its drug development plans.

For WuXi, it represents further expansion of its development and manufacturing capabilities, after it announced a deal​ to construct an antibody-drug conjugate  solution centre in Shanghai earlier this month.

Harbour, for its part, also has a presence in mainland China, with an R&D site and operations in Shanghai, alongside its innovation centre based in Boston, US.

BioPharma-Reporter approached both companies involved for comment on the announcement but did not receive a response at time of publishing.

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