BioInvent, a biotech focused on the discovery and development of immuno-regulatory antibodies for oncology, has agreed to extend its collaboration with the virus-based immunotherapies company Transgene.
The two companies will continue to work to encode undisclosed antibodies sequences to treat solid tumors and develop multi-functional oncolytic viruses (OVs).
A spokesperson for Transgene told us that the current collaboration, initiated in December 2017, is “highly productive” and this extension will further expand Transgene’s portfolio of OVs in development.
Transgene will continue to contribute its OV design, non-antibody transgenes, and its engineered vaccinia virus (TK-, RR-) backbone.
This vaccina virus backbone forms the basis of the company’s Invir.IO platform, which will enable continued development through the collaboration as it will be used to create multi-functional OV.
BioInvent will provide its experience in antibody and cancer biology research, and multiple antibodies sequences generated through its n-CoDeR/F.I.R.S.T.TM platforms.
The partners suggest multifunctional OVs developed could be significantly more effective than co-administration of an OV and antibody together.
“Encoding BioInvent’s antibodies sequences in Transgene’s proprietary Invir.IO platform, for a direct expression into the tumor, will have several key advantages: it will deliver improved efficacy compared to administering both components together and it will have much better tolerability by limiting the systemic antibody levels in peripheral non-tumor compartments,” Transgene’s spokesperson explained.
The spokesperson added that the first Invir.IO OV candidate is expected to enter the clinic in 2020 and will be the first of multiple therapeutic OVs that Transgene intends to develop for solid tumor types.
Initial data from this collaboration showed the OV was able to ensure the expression of BioInvent’s anti-CTLA-4 antibody in the tumor with low systemic exposure, as well as improved efficacy and safety compared to the combination of antibody and non-armed corresponding oncolytic virus given individually in pre-clinical models.
Research and development costs, as well as revenues and royalties from the multifunctional OVs, generated through this collaboration will be shared 50:50. No other financial or logistical details pertaining to the extended agreement are disclosed.