Arsanis negotiated an exclusive global license to a panel of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-targeting antibodies from Adimab and confirmed that it has secured a $9.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to take an initial candidate through to IND filing.

Under terms of the deal with Adimab, Arsanis will evaluate and select the best therapeutic leads from the licensed panel of RSV antibodies, in return for license fees and development milestones, plus future sales royalties. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Arsanis’ partnerships with Adimab and the Gates Foundation will allow us to apply our deep expertise in the discovery and development of anti-infective antibodies to advance highly potent human monoclonal antibodies for the prevention of RSV infection,” said Rene Russo, Pharm.D., BCPS, president and CEO at Arsanis. “We believe this approach has the potential to address a significant global need for effective and accessible RSV therapeutics in both developed and developing countries.”

“Through our B-cell isolation approach, Adimab has identified highly potent antibodies against a number of infectious disease targets,” commented Guy Van Meter, vp of business development at Adimab. “The RSV antibodies licensed to Arsanis include some of the most potent RSV neutralizers reported to date.” The deal is also not Adimab's first with Arsanis, Van Meter added. “This new agreement expands an already successful relationship with Arsanis, under which Arsanis’ lead program ASN100 for Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia, currently in a Phase II clinical study, was discovered.”

Arsanis is developing a pipeline of monoclonal antibodies targeting serious infections. Lead candidate ASN100 is in development for the prevention of hospital-acquired S. aureus pneumonia in high-risk, mechanically ventilated patients. A global Phase II placebo-controlled study was started in January and will enroll approximately 350 patients. ASN1000 is a combination of two antibodies that are designed to neutralize six S. aureus cytotoxins.

In December 2016, ASN100 was granted FDA Fast Track Designation for the S. aureus pneumonia indication.

Arsanis’ preclinical pipeline includes antibody candidates targeting Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pneumonia.

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