Xencor signed a collaboration and licensing agreement with Novo Nordisk to jointly discover biologic drug candidates for an undisclosed target by combining multiple Xencor XmAb® technologies, including bispecific and immune inhibitor technologies. Xencor could receive up to $175 million in upfront payments, research support, and preclinical and clinical development, regulatory and sales milestones, in addition to future royalties.
Xencor and Novo Nordisk will use XmAb bispecific technology to build a variety of molecular formats that can engage the target and also modulate desired immune functions using Xencor's XmAb immune inhibitor technology. XmAb immune inhibitor Fc domains target FcγRIIb (also known as CD32b), and have been shown to be potent inhibitors of immune responses in clinical trials.
In addition to its proprietary technologies, Xencor will also contribute expertise in studying immune functions of biologics and immune system modulation. Novo Nordisk will collaborate by using its proprietary technology during candidate discovery and will have all development and commercial rights.
“This collaboration marks the first time we have used our new XmAb bispecifics technology, which consists of stable and easily expressed heterodimeric Fc domains that allow us to build robust molecules in a variety of formats that preserve many beneficial features of antibodies. The combination of our bispecific Fc domains with our unique FcγRIIb targeting technology allows us to create novel molecular structures and to explore a range of functional properties during discovery,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., Xencor's president and CEO. “Furthermore, this collaboration demonstrates how the comprehensive and diverse capabilities of our XmAb® toolkit and robust plug-and-play nature of our bispecifics technology platform can lead to creative alliances with global partners such as Novo Nordisk.”
At the end of October, Xencor renegotiated a monoclonal antibody deal with Amgen, which resulted in it regaining all development and commercial rights to XmAb®5871, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody containing the company’s immune inhibitor XmAb Fc domain that targets FcγRIIb to inhibit B-cell function.