Pharma Focus Asia

TRACON Pharmaceuticals and I-Mab Biopharma Announce Strategic Partnerships for Multiple Immuno-Oncology Programs

Saturday, December 01, 2018

TRACON Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel targeted therapeutics for cancer, and I-Mab Biopharma ("I-Mab"), a China-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company exclusively focused on the development of innovative biologics in immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases, today jointly announced the establishment of a series of strategic collaborative partnerships for developing multiple immuno-oncology programs, including I-Mab's proprietary CD73 antibody TJD5, a novel immuno-oncology asset with best-in-class potential from I-Mab's broad immuno-oncology portfolio, as well as several proprietary bispecific antibodies ("BsAbs") under development by I-Mab.

TRACON and I-Mab entered into a cost-sharing product development collaboration whereby TRACON will be responsible for the regulatory and clinical development of TJD5 and up to five of the BsAbs in North America, with the majority of the development effort expected to occur in the U.S. TRACON will bear the costs of early phases of clinical trials and I-Mab will share the costs for more advanced development stages and commercialization. TRACON will also share the North America rights of any selected BsAbs with I-Mab for each collaborative program, with opt-in rights to in-license the BsAbs from I-Mab in certain territories.

"There is a great strategic fit between the two companies. We have complementary development capabilities and share a passion for science. We are pleased to work with TRACON to facilitate clinical development of TJD5 and any selected BsAbs in North America through a capital efficient partnership," said Jingwu Zang, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of I-Mab. "This partnership recognizes and values the potential of our innovative assets and strong drug discovery and development capabilities."  "Partnering with TRACON is an important part of our global development strategy to bring innovative biologics to patients worldwide. It further strengthens our presence in North America following the establishment of our US office and is the latest addition to our growing global partnerships spanning from drug candidates to clinical assets," Zang added.

"We are excited to enter into this broad strategic transaction with I-Mab, an innovative biologics company with a broad pipeline of immuno-oncology assets with great potential to impact the treatment of cancer patients. We are particularly impressed with the similarities in corporate cultures between I-Mab and TRACON." said Charles Theuer, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of TRACON. "This agreement expands TRACON's portfolio of potential first-in-class and best-in-class immuno-oncology therapies and further validates TRACON's product development solution for companies looking to develop innovative products in the U.S. In particular, we believe our existing in-house drug development expertise can reduce both the cost and time of clinical development for our partners and, when combined with our willingness to cost share, this can be an attractive development option. Given TRACON's ability to expand our development capacity for additional products, we expect to continue leveraging our platform."

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