Pharma Focus Asia

AvantGen Enters a Strategic Collaboration Agreement to Develop Novel Anti-Cancer Therapeutic With Its NK Cell Engager Technology

Friday, November 08, 2019

AvantGen, Inc., a biotechnology company with its array of technology platforms for antibody discovery, optimization, and novel NK cell engager generation, today announced a strategic collaboration with an undisclosed biopharmaceutical company for the purpose of generating multiple novel bi-specific NK cell engaging therapeutic antibody product candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, AvantGen will be responsible for engineering bi-specific variants of specified molecules using its proprietary NK cell engager platform and the biopharmaceutical company’s antibodies against a novel disease target. The biopharmaceutical company will receive worldwide rights on an exclusive basis with respect to its proprietary target to develop and commercialize product candidates arising from the collaboration. AvantGen receives upfront payments and is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties associated with the development and sale of any products derived from the collaboration.

“We are pleased to collaborate with a team of talented leaders in the field of immuno-oncology to generate a novel class of anti-cancer molecules with superior efficacy. Our cutting-edge NK cell engager platform is comprised of binders that are exquisitely specific for CD16a, an activating receptor expressed on NK cells, but do not cross-react with the highly homologous CD16b receptor which is expressed on neutrophils. These attributes are intended to greatly enhance desirable NK cell-mediated antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity against cancer cells while minimizing the undesirable inhibitory effects of neutrophil-mediated ADCC functions,” said Xiaomin Fan, Ph.D., founder and president of AvantGen. Dr. Fan continued, “Our platform is further differentiated by designing the NK cell engagers to activate NK cells only in the presence of cancer cells that are recognized by the tumor targeting moiety of the engager and in a manner that is not affected by high concentrations of human IgG. We welcome the opportunity to generate novel product candidates for our biopharmaceutical company partner under this collaboration, and look forward to entering similar arrangements with others on a cancer target-exclusive basis.”

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