Pharma Focus Asia

Xencor and Atreca Enter Strategic Collaboration to Discover, Develop and Commercialize Novel T Cell Engaging Bispecific Antibodies

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Xencor, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and Atreca, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics generated through a unique discovery platform based on interrogation of the active human immune response, announced that the companies have entered into a collaboration and license agreement to research, develop and commercialize T cell engaging bispecific antibodies as potential therapeutics in oncology.

Bispecific antibodies that direct T cells to tumor cells, by simultaneously binding CD3 on T cells and a target on tumor cells, have the potential to drive tumor cell killing. This collaboration will leverage Xencor’s XmAb® engineering platform to design and manufacture CD3 bispecific antibodies and Atreca's ability to generate novel antibody-target pairs through its discovery platform, including its Immune Repertoire Capture® (IRC™) technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will engage in a three-year discovery program. Atreca will provide antibodies against novel tumor targets from which Xencor will engineer XmAb bispecific antibodies that also bind to the CD3 receptor on T cells. Up to two joint programs will be mutually selected for further development and commercialization, with each partner sharing 50 percent of costs and profits. Each company will lead development, regulatory and commercialization activities for one of the joint programs. In addition, the agreement allows for each partner to pursue up to two programs independently, with a mid- to high-single digit percent royalty payable on net sales. Atreca and Xencor began working together in 2019 under a material transfer agreement to accelerate this new collaboration agreement.

“We are proud to be partnering with Xencor, a leader in the engineering and development of antibody therapeutics,” said John A. Orwin, chief executive officer of Atreca. “We believe this collaboration leverages two approaches with the potential to be highly complementary and underscores the value of novel antibody-target pairs in the development of cancer therapeutics. We are encouraged by the work already completed under our initial agreement and look forward to a productive partnership, as well as the prospect of adding T cell engaging bispecific product candidates to our clinical pipeline.”

“Xencor is building a broad portfolio of drug candidates based on our XmAb technologies, which enable us to create therapeutic antibodies and other proteins with enhanced properties and new mechanisms of action,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Xencor. “Atreca’s unique discovery platform complements our protein engineering capabilities and bispecific platform by providing novel, tumor-selective antibodies and targets to engage with cytotoxic T cell killing. This collaboration offers both Xencor and Atreca with several opportunities to advance novel first-in-class CD3 bispecific antibodies for the potential treatment of patients with cancer.”

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