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AbbVie and Tentarix partner to develop oncology and immunology biologics

AbbVie and Tentarix partner to develop oncology and immunology biologics

AbbVie and Tentarix Biotherapeutics have announced a multi-year collaboration aimed at developing biologic candidates in oncology and immunology, with the deal worth over $64m. The partnership will combine AbbVie’s capabilities in oncology and immunology with Tentarix’s proprietary Tentacles platform to discover and develop conditionally-active, multi-specific biologics against one target in each branch of medicine.

The candidates designed by Tentarix’s technology activate immune cells that can modulate disease pathways while potentially reducing the safety concerns typically associated with non-specific targeting of immune cells.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tentarix will receive upfront option payments totalling $64m from AbbVie for the two programmes, with AbbVie receiving an exclusive option to fully acquire the programmes following candidate nomination for an additional undisclosed payment for each programme.

Jonathon Sedgwick, senior vice president and global head of discovery research at AbbVie, said: “Oncology and immunology are two of our key strategic growth areas where we are pursuing novel technologies that aim to deliver transformative therapies which address unmet patient needs. This strategic partnership complements our ongoing efforts in developing novel biologics, potentially to expand our oncology and immunology portfolios with conditionally-active multi-specific molecules.”

Also commenting on the alliance, Don Santel, Tentarix’s interim chief executive officer, said: “We are excited to join forces with AbbVie to help accelerate cutting-edge, conditionally-active therapeutic programmes towards clinical applications for patients in need. This collaboration adds to our portfolio of internal and external pipeline programmes and is a strong validation of our approach in understanding and targeting complex immune interactions that drive cancers and inflammatory diseases.”

The deal comes less than two months after AbbVie and Umoja Biopharma announced two exclusive licence agreements worth over $1.44bn to develop CAR-T cell therapy candidates in oncology.

The first agreement gives AbbVie licensing rights to Umoja’s CD19-directed in-situ-generated CAR-T cell therapy candidates, while under the second agreement, the two companies will develop up to four in-situ CAR-T therapy candidates for targets chosen by AbbVie.

AbbVie also recently announced that it would be acquiring Cerevel Therapeutics for about $8.7bn, marking a significant boost to its neuroscience pipeline.

February 23, 2024

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