ImagineAb and MacroGenics inked a collaboration and commercialization agreement with MacroGenics focused on the development of an anti-CD3 clinical imaging product, and companion imaging agents for B7-H3, an immune regulatory target against which MacroGenics is developing therapeutics.  Under terms of the deal ImaginAb will develop a strategy for clinical imaging based on MacroGenics’ anti-CD3 antibody, which the latter can use to select patients for ongoing clinical trials, and engineer a CD3 binding fragment for routine clinical imaging. The firm will in addition develop imaging reagents for its partner’s anti-B7-H3 therapeutic product candidate MGA271, and related applications for its CD3-based redirected T cell-killing Dart™ (Dual-affinity retargeting) anticancer programs.

“Collaborating with MacroGenics provides the opportunity to demonstrate the ways in which ImaginAb’s antibody fragment-based imaging technology can be used at the clinical nexus bewten cancer and immunology,” states Christian Behrenbruch, cEO at ImaginAb. “We are glad to partner on both the B7-H3 and CD3 imaging … Our collaboration will augment ImaginAb’s existing CD8 development program with an anti-CD3 imaging progam.”

ImaginAb is focused on re-engineering antibodies into smaller protein formats with kinetics that are optimized for diagnostic imaging. The firm is exploiting its expertise both to build a pipeline of clinical imaging agents for cancer and immunology, and also through a partnering program with the pharma industry to develop companion imaging agents for therapeutic antibodies.

Macrogenics is leveraging three technology platforms to develop biologics for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases. The firm’s Dart platform allows the design of dual-specificity antibody-like therapeutic proteins capable of targeting multiple different epitopes with a single recombinant molecule. Macrogenics’ Cancer Stem Cell platform is in development to provide new approaches to targeting treatment-resistant cancers, and its Fc Optimization platform is a monoclonal antibody engineering technology designed to help enhance the immune system’s ability to mediate cancer cell killing.

Early clinical-stage compound MGA271 is a humanized IgG1/kappa monoclonal antibody that recognizes human B7-H3, a member of the B7 family of immune regulators that is overexpressed on a range of solid tumors. MGA271 has been Fc-optimized using MacroGenics’ proprietary Fc-engineering platform to further augment its tumor killing activity. The CD3 autoimmune diseases program is headed by the Phase II-stage candidate teplizumab, a humanized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody currently in development as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes.

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