Immune Pharmaceuticals said today it has agreed to exclusively license from Atlante Biotech the patents and know-how for a new format of bispecific antibodies. The value of the license was not disclosed.
“This is an important milestone as we make progress with our immuno-oncology pipeline,” Immune CEO Daniel Teper, PharmD, said in a statement. “Our research will focus on the application of this novel bispecific platform to target immune checkpoints. Our plan is to generate additional preclinical data with selected bispecific drug candidates in 2016.”
R&D work on the bispecific antibodies will be performed at Immune’s recently established immunology R&D unit at the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences in New York City. The work will be overseen by Boris Shor, Ph.D., Immune’s executive director of R&D, who joined the company in September from Pfizer Oncology.
A collaborative European consortium led by Jean Kadouche, Ph.D., a scientific co-founder of Immune now with Atlante Biotech, developed the novel platform for production of tetravalent IgG1-like bispecific antibodies. The consortium was funded by a European grant.
According to Immune, the platform prototype bispecific antibody has been shown to retain effector functions and mediate redirect killing of target cells by cytokine induced killer T cells.
The bispecific antibody demonstrated direct anticancer effects in vitro, as well as in vivo antitumor activity and improved survival in a mouse xenograft model of disseminated leukemia, according to data presented at IBC Life Sciences’ Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics Conference, held December 7-10 in San Diego.