Xencor Enters Collaboration with Janssen with Aim to Discover Novel CD28 Bispecific Antibodies for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNCR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced it has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen). The research and license agreement is focused on the discovery of XmAb bispecific antibodies against CD28, an immune co-stimulatory receptor on T cells, and an undisclosed prostate tumor target, for the potential treatment of patients with prostate cancer. Additionally, Xencor has a right to access select, predefined agents from Janssen’s portfolio of clinical-stage drug candidates and commercialized medicines to evaluate potential combination therapies in prostate cancer with agents in its own pipeline in non-registrational clinical studies. Janssen has the same right with Xencor’s portfolio of clinical-stage drug candidates to evaluate potential combination therapies in prostate cancer, as well.
“Our XmAb bispecific Fc domains enable the creation of a wide range of multi-specific antibody and protein structures, such as bispecific antibodies in our new CD28 platform. These antibodies can co-stimulate T cells in a tumor-target dependent manner and can synergize with both checkpoint inhibitor therapies and other tumor-targeted agents, like CD3 bispecific antibodies, in order to enhance anti-tumor activity,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Xencor. “In addition, the ability to study combinations of therapies from both companies’ prostate cancer portfolios leverages Xencor’s broad clinical pipeline and the leading prostate cancer therapeutics portfolio at Janssen. This collaboration with Janssen expands the use of our CD28 platform and complements our first wholly owned internal candidate, a B7-H3 x CD28 bispecific antibody designed to treat a range of solid tumors, which is currently advancing through preclinical development.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Xencor will apply its XmAb bispecific Fc technology to create and characterize XmAb CD28 bispecific antibody candidates against the tumor target specified by Janssen. Preclinical activities and all clinical development, regulatory and commercial activities will be conducted by Janssen, which has exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the novel drug candidates. Xencor will receive an upfront payment of $50 million and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and high-single digit to low-double digit percent royalties on net sales.
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