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Partner pairing
July 2015
by Ilene Schneiders  |  Email the author
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LEBANON, N.H.—In the past couple months, biotech Adimab LLC has announced two collaboration agreements, giving the eight-year-old company which 30 partnerships with 100 programs in various stages of preclinical and clinical development, according to Tillman Gerngross, CEO and co-founder of Adimab.
 
Almost every partner has either expanded its relationship or is in discussions to expand, according to Gerngross, in large part because Adimab enables its partners to rapidly expand their biologics pipelines through a broad array of technology access arrangements.
 
The new collaboration with Celgene, which follows an earlier 2013 agreement between the two parties, gives Celgene “broader access to our antibodies and expansion into specific antibodies,” Gerngross explains. Under the terms of the new agreement for the discovery of antibodies and bispecifics for next-generation therapeutics for patients, Adimab may generate novel common light chain libraries with Celgene and use its proprietary platform to generate immunoglobulin G candidates against multiple targets. Celgene will have the right to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies resulting from the collaboration.
 
“The Celgene relationship is indicative of how we partner,” Gerngross said. “A company will start small, like it, do more and organically grow by means of real output and real progress. When Celgene nominates targets of interest, we develop antibodies. Our ongoing partnering success is based on a few key elements: our industry-leading capabilities in antibody discovery, the consistency by which we deliver successful therapeutic programs and our ability to create very productive relationships with our partner’s research teams.”
 
Ho Cho, vice president of Celgene Biotherapeutics, remarks: “We had high expectations for the initial collaboration, and are very pleased with its progress. We have also been impressed with Adimab’s ongoing technical development efforts, in particular its ability to build highly diverse antibody libraries based on single common light chains. Celgene expects to develop a robust antibody-based clinical pipeline, and we rely on innovative companies, such as Adimab, to make this happen.”
 
Under the terms of the new agreement, Adimab may build novel common light chain libraries with Celgene and use these common light chain libraries for the discovery and optimization of fully human antibodies against multiple targets. For each project, the agreement gives Celgene the right to research antibodies generated during the collaboration. Celgene will also have an option to exclusively license antibodies for development and commercialization. The initial term of the partnership is two years, with an option to extend for an additional two years. Adimab will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, as well as license fees, clinical milestones and royalties on any product that is optioned under the agreement.
 
In a new collaboration with Kite Pharma Inc., Adimab will use its proprietary platform to generate immunoglobulin G candidates against multiple targets selected by Kite. As Gerngross explains, “Kite has established itself as a leader in the field of engineered autologous cell therapies, and we are excited to have the opportunity to work with the company. Our platform can rapidly deliver a diverse panel of antibodies with varying affinities and ultra-high selectivity. We are helping Kite to develop T cell antibodies that are exquisitely specific. It is a unique fit.”
 
“Kite is focused on finding partnerships, such as this collaboration with Adimab, that help us establish a competitive advantage in the CAR T [chimeric antigen receptor T cell] space,” said Dr. Margo Roberts, chief scientific officer of Kite.
 
Kite and Adimab have entered into a collaboration in which Adimab will use its proprietary discovery and optimization platform to identify fully human antibodies against selected targets. For each target, the agreement grants Kite the right to research antibodies generated during the collaboration for potential use in therapeutic CAR T products. Kite will also have the option to exclusively license antibodies for development and commercialization as therapeutic CAR products. Adimab will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, research fees and technical milestones, as well as license fees, certain additional milestones and royalties on any therapeutic CAR product sales that are optioned under the agreement.
 
As Gerngross summarizes, “We have a large antibody library. Our partners pick the targets and are responsible for commercialization. We help them get there faster.”
 
Code: E071506

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