Theraclone Sciences will work with Pfizer to develop mAbs against up to two infectious disease targets and up to two cancer targets. Theraclone is eligible to receive royalties on sales of any developed products and up to $632 million in research funding and milestone fees related to discovery, development, regulatory, and commercialization goals.
Pfizer gains an exclusive, worldwide license to any therapeutic antibodies discovered under the collaboration. The company will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development of all candidates.
Theraclone’s I-STAR™ technology is used to screen and identify antibodies to pathogenic agents and endogenous therapeutic targets. The technology allows interrogation of B cells where the immunological history of protective responses is archived.
“The I-STAR platform has been designed to discover broadly reactive, potent antibodies with high specificity for valuable targets,” comments Steven Gillis, Ph.D., interim CEO of Theraclone and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners. “This collaboration with Pfizer, and the recent published success of I-STAR to identify unique antibodies against novel targets in HIV and influenza, increase confidence in Theraclone’s approach to search the human immune repertoire to isolate rare and powerful human antibodies that may be of use in the treatment of multiple diseases.”
“Antibodies represent a very exciting class of biotherapeutics for Pfizer to combat infectious disease and are a proven approach to cancer treatment,” commented Jose-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, Pfizer’s svp of worldwide biotherapeutics R&D. “Theraclone’s platform technology represents an important advancement in fully human therapeutic antibody discovery, which we believe has the potential to deliver a new generation of improved therapeutic antibodies more efficiently.”
Theraclone’s antibodies in preclinical development include mAbs against HIV, influenza, and inflammation. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative has tapped into Theraclone, and Zenyaku Kogyo has a Japanese license to Theraclone’s influenza program.