Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) will develop new cancer drugs with Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) by identifying new antibody targets, then granting BI rights to develop and commercialize the resulting new antibody products, under a collaboration the companies announced today.

In return for granting rights to BI, OBT will receive an undisclosed up-front payment and FTE funding for activities under the collaboration. OBT will also be eligible for certain milestone payments upon achievement of undisclosed discovery, development, and commercialization milestones, as well as royalties on sales of any resulting products.

“Selecting the right target is fundamental for the successful development of a first-in-class antibody product drug, and we are delighted to collaborate with a company of the caliber of BI in this exciting area of cancer antibody development,” Christian Rohlff, OBT’s CEO, said in a statement.

Under the collaboration with BI, OBT will use its Oxford Genome Anatomy Project (OGAP®) database, designed to enable identification of best-in-class targets and biomarkers. According to OBT, OGAP represents the world’s largest collections of disease-associated proteins, with proteomic data on more than 7,500 cancer membrane proteins and protein disease expression information covering more than three-quarters of the entire human proteome.

More than two million human protein fragments have been sequenced in OGAP in 50 different human tissues representing 60 diseases, including 25 forms of cancer.

BI becomes the latest biopharma giant to team up with OBT toward development of cancer medicines and tailored diagnostics based on development of therapeutic antibody and biomarker targets through OGAP. OBT has formed OGAP-based collaborations with Seattle Genetics, Medarex (since acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb), Amgen, Biosite (now Alere), and BioWa, as well as development alliances with Sanofi and Menarini.

In the Menarini alliance, announced last October, OBT agreed to provide cancer target, antibody, and arming technologies toward development of five of OBT’s antibody and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) programs—each of which addresses a different cancer indication via a different oncology target—while Menarini agreed to lead efforts in the manufacture and clinical development of each program.

Established in 2004, OBT is privately held and based near Oxford, U.K.

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