Pharma Focus Asia

ImmunoPrecise's Talem Therapeutics Enters into an LOI with AgonOx Pharma in the Advancement of Novel, Immuno-Oncology Therapeutics

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

IMMUNOPRECISE ANTIBODIES LTD., an industry leader in the discovery of novel, therapeutic antibodies, announces that Talem Therapeutics, its wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into an LOI to form a Joint Venture as it partners in the continued development of antibody therapeutics to target T cell mediated anti-tumor activity, with AgonOx, a clinical-stage biopharma company. AgonOx specializes in identifying and developing immuno-oncology therapeutics.

AgonOx's approach to target discovery begins with genomic and proteomic analyses of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes isolated from human tumor biopsies. Candidates are further validated in the laboratory by utilizing an array of in vitro and in vivo systems. The partnership with Talem is addressing targets involved in T cell mediated anti-cancer activity, with therapeutics that, in preliminary, in vivo-validated animal models of established tumors, have demonstrated significant tumor reduction.

This partnership will advance two of AgonOx's top 10 candidates to emerge from its translational science platform focused on modulation of the tumor microenvironment and, if commercialized, may result in approximately $720 million USD comprised of licensing fees, as well as development and commercial milestones in addition to royalties on worldwide sales.

Andrew Weinberg, President and CSO of AgonOx, stated "Collaborating with Talem strengthens our efforts to develop immuno-oncology drug candidates by leveraging IPA's ability to address challenging targets, with the deep mining of the immune repertoire in a species agnostic manner. This LOI supports AgonOx's mission of discovering and delivering science that can change the standard of care for patients with cancer. ImmunoPrecise has first-rate scientists that we hope to work with for years to come."

Talem will leverage the internal development capabilities of ImmunoPrecise, including high throughput, rapid identification of candidates through single cell interrogation, as well as accessing synthetic and natural immune phage libraries, and its bispecific platform, AbthenaTM. All of these technologies integrate seamlessly with IPA's integrated ArtemisTM Intelligence Metadata (AIM)TM capabilities to enable rapid turnaround on additional outputs in therapeutic optimization, stability, affinity, and manufacturability.

Both companies will aid in the functional analyses of the candidates, while AgonOx also pulls from its experience in pre-clinical and clinical development, built, in part, on access to physicians and relevant samples through their alignment with the Earl A. Chiles Research Institute at the Providence Cancer Institute.

"We look forward to advancing the development of these candidates toward an Investigational New Drug filing. AgonOx has extensive expertise in validating the expression and function of biologically relevant immuno-oncology targets" said Jennifer Bath, CEO of ImmunoPrecise. "We see significant advantages from Talem and AgonOx leadership sharing knowledge across antibody discovery, development, pre-clinical and clinical trials. This partnership will enhance the companies' pipelines of novel, monoclonal antibodies that could transform the standard of care for patients with advanced cancers."

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