GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) bagged Domantis for $454 million, or 230 million pounds, in cash to take over its antibody therapy that overcomes the size-related challenges of Mabs. "Domantis has pioneered the extension of antibody therapies to potentially far wider applications than has been possible with conventional monoclonal antibodies," points out Mike Owen, senior vp, Biopharmaceuticals CEDD, GSK.
Domantis will become part of GSK's Biopharmaceuticals Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) while continuing to operate from laboratories in Cambridge, U.K. "The agreement with GSK allows us to embed our R&D organization intact within a company committed to fully exploiting the potential therapeutic applications of our technology," remarks Robert Connelly, Domantis' founding CEO.
Domantis states that it is the pioneer in the field of antibody therapies that are based on the smallest functional binding units of human antibodies. These units, termed domain antibodies (dAbs), may be administered in inhaled, topical, and, potentially, oral formulations as well as by injection and infusion. The company reports that the technology also enables dAbs to serve as building blocks for therapeutics simultaneously directed at more than one disease target.
"The acquisition of Domantis by GSK,” notes Ian Tomlinson, Ph.D., founder of Domantis, “provides the funding and capabilities to advance a large number of dAb products through clinical testing. Combining the core protein-engineering capabilities, technology, and intellectual property of Domantis with the basic science and clinical and commercial strength of GSK creates an opportunity to advance biopharmaceuticals on a global scale."