Pharma Focus Asia

Anokion Announces Expansion of Exclusive Collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to Develop Novel Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Anokion SA, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance, announced the expansion of an exclusive global collaboration agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb, focused on developing therapeutics for autoimmune diseases, to include Anokion’s lead antigen-specific drug candidate, KAN-101, for the treatment of celiac disease.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Bristol Myers Squibb, which underscores the substantial therapeutic opportunity we believe our programs hold for people with autoimmune diseases who lack disease-modifying treatments today,” said John Hohneker, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Anokion. “Bristol Myers Squibb is an industry leader with significant capabilities across all phases of drug development. By expanding our agreement to encompass our celiac disease program, we are further ensuring that our novel discoveries have the resources needed to be fully prosecuted and reach as many patients as possible.”

Under the terms of the amended agreement, originally executed in 2016 with Celgene, now a Bristol Myers Squibb company, an undisclosed Amendment fee was paid to Anokion to include KAN-101 for the treatment of celiac disease in the exclusive global collaboration. Anokion is responsible for preclinical activities and Phase 1 clinical development of partnered programs, and Bristol Myers Squibb will fund subsequent trials and commercial activities at clinical proof-of-concept.

“We are intrigued by the opportunity to leverage this immune tolerization platform as a treatment for celiac disease, as well as multiple sclerosis,” said Rupert Vessey, Ph.D., M.A., B.M., B.Ch., F.R.C.P., D.Phil., executive vice president & president, research & early development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We look forward to further collaborating with Anokion to bring potential new treatments to patients with autoimmune diseases.”

KAN-101 is currently being evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 1 study, Assessment of KAN-101 in Celiac Disease (ACeD), that is designed to evaluate its safety and tolerability in patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet. Anokion anticipates reporting preliminary data from this first-in-human study later this year. In addition, ANK-700, Anokion’s second antigen-specific program, has completed IND-enabling studies and the company expects to initiate clinical development for the treatment of multiple sclerosis in the second half of 2020.

Anokion retains full control of its program focused on type 1 diabetes, as well as its research and development pipeline.

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