Pharma Focus Asia

AbbVie and Jacobio Announce Strategic Collaboration to Advance SHP2 Inhibitors

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, and Jacobio Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, today announced a global, strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize SHP2 inhibitors, which target a key node in cancer and immune cells.

SHP2 is an important protein mediator of cellular signaling through RAS/MAP kinase pathway. Many tumors have genetic mutations, driving abnormal cancer cell growth which relies on SHP2 activity. SHP2 also plays a key role to control cytokine production and immune cell response. Therefore, inhibition of SHP2 is believed to have dual effects by potentially reducing cancer cell growth and modulating immune responses to generate anti-tumor activities. Jacobio's early clinical stage SHP2 assets, JAB-3068 and JAB-3312, are oral small molecules designed to specifically inhibit SHP2 activity.

"Identifying promising new targeted approaches for solid tumor patients is a high priority for us," said Mohit Trikha, Ph.D., vice president and head, early development oncology and Bay Area site head, AbbVie. "Jacobio's SHP2 program has the potential to treat cancer patients across many tumor types.  By targeting a key node in both cancer and immune cell signaling pathways, SHP2 inhibition, both as a monotherapy and potentially in combination with other agents, may rapidly advance new treatment options for cancer patients."    

"We are excited to expand our efforts in global development of delivering breakthrough innovation to not just Chinese, but global patients with cancer," said Yinxiang Wang, Ph.D., CEO and Chairman, Jacobio.  "We look forward to a productive collaboration with AbbVie focused on rapidly advancing this novel SHP2 first-in-class therapy as a new approach for multiple cancer types. I am confident that this partnership will strengthen our R&D capabilities and ultimately bring benefits to cancer patients."

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will be granted an exclusive license to the SHP2 portfolio. Jacobio will continue to conduct early global clinical trials of JAB-3068 and JAB-3312 with AbbVie covering R&D expenses. Upon completion, AbbVie will assume global development and commercialization responsibilities. Jacobio has an option, exercisable before the initiation of registrational trials, to exclusively develop and commercialize the SHP2 program in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Financial terms were not disclosed and the transaction is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

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