Allston, Mass., and Cambridge, Mass, January 30, 2018 – AB Biosciences, Inc. and Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), the global biotechnology leader in rare diseases, today announced that they have entered into an agreement granting Shire an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize AB Biosciences’ pan receptor interacting molecule (PRIM) program, which uses AB Biosciences’ proprietary oligomeric Fc technology platform. PRIM, a recombinant immunoglobulin product candidate, has shown encouraging preclinical data, including enhanced biological activity relative to currently approved intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapies, in preclinical models of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
“This agreement provides the opportunity to accelerate the development of the PRIM program and potentially benefit patients with autoimmune and inflammatory disorders that are currently treated with the traditional human IVIg preparations,” said Yen-Ming Hsu, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of AB Biosciences, Inc. “As a global biotech leader in the development and commercialization of biologic therapeutics, Shire is the ideal development and commercialization partner for our innovative PRIM program, particularly given their proven developmental expertise and continuing success in their IVIg commercial franchise.”
“AB Biosciences has demonstrated innovation in the area of antibody technology and protein design, and Shire is pleased to continue to advance this program,” said Andreas Busch, Ph.D., Head of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Shire. “The novel design of this investigational antibody-derived recombinant protein therapeutic and promising biological activity demonstrated in preclinical models makes the PRIM program an exciting opportunity for Shire to further expand its leadership and commitment to treating patients with autoimmune disorders.”
Under the terms of the agreement, AB Biosciences will grant Shire an exclusive, worldwide license to its intellectual property relating to its PRIM program. AB Biosciences will receive an upfront license fee payment from Shire and is eligible to receive contingent research, development, and commercialization milestone payments as well as royalty payments. No further terms of the agreement were disclosed.
PRIM (pan receptor interacting molecule) is a novel protein therapeutic for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Preparation of human IVIg contains immune complexes which in turn contain multiple antibody and antigen molecules that are known to modulate immune responses through their interactions with Fc receptors. PRIM protein contains three immunoglobulin constant regions and can effectively bind to Fc receptors similar to that of immune complexes. In contrast to human IVIg, production of PRIM protein does not require the traditional plasma collection of thousands of individuals and safety tests for infectious agents. Furthermore, without the bulk of monomeric immunoglobulin, PRIM has the potential to be biologically active at lower doses. As such, alternative, non-intravenous routes of administration may be feasible.
About AB Biosciences
AB Biosciences (ABB) is dedicated to the upstream R&D of novel biologics for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. With solid core competence in viral-mediated gene transfer, immunobiology and protein engineering, ABB has streamlined an efficient technological platform to accelerate the discovery and developmental processes for acquiring the proof-of-concept data packages prior to seeking partnership for new drug development from the biologics. Specifically, ABB is focusing on developing immunoglobulin-based biologics for immunological, oncological and neurological indications.
Shire is the global leader in serving patients with rare diseases. We strive to develop best-in-class therapies across a core of rare disease areas including hematology, immunology, genetic diseases, neuroscience, and internal medicine with growing therapeutic areas in ophthalmics and oncology. Our diversified capabilities enable us to reach patients in more than 100 countries who are struggling to live their lives to the fullest. We feel a strong sense of urgency to address unmet medical needs and work tirelessly to improve people’s lives with medicines that have a meaningful impact on patients and all who support them on their journey.