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Igenica Biotherapeutics Enters Into a Strategic Oncology Research Agreement with MedImmune
BURLINGAME, Calif. – October 28, 2015 – Igenica Biotherapeutics, Inc., a company focused on the discovery and development of innovative antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer, announced today that it has entered into an oncology research agreement with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN). Igenica and MedImmune will evaluate the potential of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting Surface Antigen in Leukemia (SAIL), a novel cell surface protein with high prevalence of expression in a variety of hematologic malignancies and several solid tumors. Preclinical data have supported the selective targeting of tumors expressing SAIL with ADCs.
Under the agreement, Igenica will contribute its proprietary anti-SAIL antibodies, including IGN786, and its proprietary SNAP ADC drug linker, and MedImmune will provide its proprietary anti-tumor payload. Igenica and MedImmune will then jointly investigate the resulting novel ADC in preclinical studies.
MedImmune will receive an option to an exclusive worldwide license to anti-SAIL antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates resulting from the collaboration. Igenica will receive an exclusive option fee and, if MedImmune exercises its option, is also eligible to receive an upfront license fee, clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones, and royalties on net sales. MedImmune will fund all development and commercialization costs under a license agreement.
"We are pleased to collaborate with MedImmune, a leading biotechnology company, to build on our pioneering research," commented John Celebi, Chief Business Officer, Igenica. "This agreement provides a strong opportunity to realize the potential value of IGN786 and complements our strategy focused on targeting drugs to block the immunosuppressive activities of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment to reinvigorate or activate de novo anti-tumor responses."
"We look forward to working with Igenica Biotherapeutics on developing a novel antibody-drug conjugate in hematology,” said Ronald Herbst, Vice President, Oncology Research & Development, MedImmune. “Developing next generation antibody-drug conjugates is a key strategic area for us, and we are committed to advancing our pipeline in this area both externally and internally."
About IGN786 and SAIL
IGN786 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to SAIL, a cell surface protein with high prevalence of expression in a variety of hematologic malignancies and several solid tumors. Igenica was the first to describe the biological properties of human SAIL and elucidate its potential as an antibody-drug conjugate approach (Blood Cancer Journal (2015) 5, e316). Preclinical data with IGN786 have supported the selective targeting of tumors expressing SAIL with antibody-drug conjugates.
About Igenica Biotherapeutics
Igenica Biotherapeutics is focused on the discovery of innovative antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer. Igenica’s integrated discovery engine has generated a novel pipeline of immunotherapies and ADCs that address the critical needs of cancer patients. Igenica is funded by a premier group of life science investors including The Column Group, OrbiMed, 5AM Ventures and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.igenica.com.
Guggenheim Partners, LLC served as an advisor to Igenica on the transaction.
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