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UCB and Chiesi enter global license agreement for zampilimab a novel monoclonal antibody for fibrotic lung diseases

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, and Chiesi Group, the international research-focused pharmaceutical and healthcare group, are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement that grants Chiesi a worldwide exclusive license to develop, commercialize and manufacture zampilimab, a clinical stage investigational transglutaminase 2 (TG2) inhibitor with the potential to be an anti-remodelling agent in fibrotic diseases such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

“At Chiesi, we are exploring new programs that address the key pathways in the complex disease IPF.  The goal is to offer new treatment options that delay or reverse lung function decline in patients suffering from such progressive interstitial lung diseases”, said Thomas Eichholtz, Head of Global Research and Development of Chiesi Group. “This will be the first monoclonal antibody in the Chiesi pipeline, thereby accelerating the company’s entry into biologics and thus diversifies our therapeutic platforms. I am excited at the possibilities of this new asset and pleased that we can benefit from the scientific and technical know-how of UCB”.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a chronic lung disease in which the tissue of the lungs becomes scarred (fibrosis) and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. It is the most common of the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias and carries a poor prognosis, with median survival ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 years. Therefore, there is a need for novel treatments that could delay, or reverse, disease progression.

Dhaval Patel, UCB’s Chief Scientific Officer said, “Agreements such as this one are a testament to the calibre of our innovative science and antibody expertise as well as a clear demonstration of the value we are creating through strong research productivity.” He added, “We are confident that Chiesi, a company with an established global presence and a focus on the development of novel drug candidates for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other pulmonary fibrotic diseases, will quickly progress zampilimab.”

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can modulate the biological activity of a specific target via an antigenetic site. The goal for this potential new treatment would be to ameliorate, if not reverse, the relentless fibrotic process of IPF.

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