Pharma Focus Asia

Xencor and Astellas Enter Collaboration for Novel Bispecific Antibody Program

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Xencor, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune disease, asthma and allergic diseases, today announced it has entered into a research and license agreement in which Astellas Pharma Inc. will access Xencor’s bispecific technology to advance a novel bispecific antibody program in oncology. Xencor and Astellas will collaborate to generate bispecific antibodies directed toward a selected anti-tumor target for the potential treatment of patients with cancer, and Astellas will have an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize novel drug candidates.

“Xencor’s modular antibody engineering platform enables the rapid generation of proprietary programs for our broad pipeline of drug candidates and for our partners, as well. Our XmAb® bispecific Fc domains enable antibodies and other protein structures that bind two or more different targets simultaneously, which inherently provides a wide range of potential drug candidates,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Xencor. “Our partnership with Astellas further expands the potential of XmAb bispecifics to create new therapies for patients with cancer.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Xencor will apply its bispecific technology to create multiple bispecific antibody candidates against the target specified by Astellas and will perform initial characterization of the molecules. Astellas will conduct all preclinical and clinical development and regulatory and commercial activities. Xencor will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and high-single digit to low-double digit percentage royalties on net sales.

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