Antibody-based therapeutic firm Numab reacquired the rights to ND003 from Sucampo AG, a subsidiary of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals. ND003 is a bispecific anti-IL5RxCD3 antibody fragment for the targeted lysis of eosinophils in severe asthma.

Sucampo AG and Numab entered an R&D collaboration back in September of 2011 that gave Sucampo access to Numab’s technology for discovering high-affinity antibodies against up to four targets. This past March, Numab announced the selection of an antibody fragment lead as part of that collaboration, which triggered a CHF 3 million ($3.34 million) milestone payment. That antibody fragment was ND003.

ND003 is being developed for topical administration to the lung in patients suffering from severe asthma. “Current marketed or development stage antibody drugs in severe and refractory asthma are given systemically and fail to effectively reach the lung tissue,” Urech added. “Based on its targeted and highly potent mechanism of action ND003 is developed to overcome these challenges and is poised to greatly reduce the morbidity and mortality of severe asthma sufferers.”

Now, Numab has decided to go it alone with this candidate. “Together with our autoimmune disease program ND007 we now have two potential breakthrough drugs in our pipeline,” David Urech, CSO and co-CEO of Numab, said in a statement. ND007, which targets Th17 cells, is being developed to treat chronic inflammatory disorders.

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