Invenra and Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) are partnering to identify and characterize a panel of fully human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against a novel cancer target that OBT has identified utilizing its target discovery platform OGAP® (Oxford Genome Anatomy Project).

The collaboration will utilize Invenra’s platform based on ultra-high throughput technology to synthesize full-length antibodies via cell-free expression and release them into nanowells, where they can be directly and quickly interrogated against cells in a multiplexed fashion with a diverse set of immunotypic and biologically relevant assays, the company said.  The technology allows rapid identification of high-affinity mAbs with broad epitope coverage while simultaneously performing direct phenotypic screening to isolate those mAbs with relevant biological activity, which can lead to the selection of the best lead compounds for further development, according to Invenra.

As part of the agreement, OBT will make an undisclosed initial payment to Invenra upon successful delivery of a panel of novel mAbs confirmed to meet mutually agreed goals. OBT will be responsible for all further development of the therapeutic product candidates. Assuming successful development, Invenra could receive further milestone payments and royalties on net sales of therapeutic and diagnostic products. Additionally, OBT obtains diagnostic product rights from Invenra and will have the option of developing diagnostic products. 

Invenra was formed in 2011 by NimbleGen cofounder Roland Green as a service company to help drug makers find therapeutic antibodies. Invenra is also developing its own proprietary product pipeline, with a focus on immuno-oncology.

“This collaboration is a major milestone for Invenra as a company and a validation of our innovative technology,” said Green, CEO and president. “We are delighted to be collaborating with Oxford BioTherapeutics to identify best-in-class antibodies against their novel oncology target.  In addition, this collaboration with OBT fits well within our business model, whereby we are making our technology available to a select group of companies while continuing to develop our own internal proprietary pipeline of therapeutic product candidates.”