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BioInvent and Bayer seal therapeutic antibody deal
LUND, Sweden—BioInvent International AB in March struck a deal with Bayer HealthCare related to the discovery and development of antibody products under which Bayer will have a non-exclusive research license for the use of BioInvent's proprietary n-CoDeR library for the discovery of human monoclonal antibodies.
In addition to its n-CoDeR technology, BioInvent will provide access to an extended antibody technology suite including BioInvent's proprietary selection processes, streamlined robotics and immunoglobulin transient expression technology. The n-CoDeR library contains a large number of highly diverse fully human antibody fragments that have been created using BioInvent's patented approach, reportedly generating antibodies that have both good affinities and good selectivity.
In addition to as-yet-undisclosed license fees, BioInvent will receive milestone payments and escalating royalties on sales of any products commercialized. The agreement allows for up to 14 antibody products to be developed.
Svein Mathisen, CEO of BioInvent, notes that adding a global player like Bayer with such a strong biopharmaceutical business is validation of his company's technology, especially coming off previous deals with Genentech for an antibody drug to deal with atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease and with ThromboGenics for a monoclonal antibody to treat cancer. The Genentech work recently advanced to Phase I trials and the ThromboGenics drug recently received approval to begin clinical trials.
"We are very pleased that another global pharmaceutical partner has recognized BioInvent's skills and assets in the area of human antibodies," he says, noting that BioInvent had a very successful 2007 and this latest deal is a continuation of that.
"We are well-positioned with a broad and well-diversified project portfolio," Mathisen says, adding that the Bayer deal strengthens that portfolio even more. "Our strategy works and we are firmly committed to continuing on this well-trodden path: Expand the portfolio and integrate forward in the value chain, carefully balanced with partner agreements to ensure that the projects receive the necessary funding and competence."
BioInvent is a research-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing antibody drugs, and the company is currently involved in projects in the areas of thrombosis, cancer, atherosclerosis and ophthalmic diseases. Other companies working with BioInvent's technological skills include ALK-Abelló, ImmunoGen, OrbusNeich, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB and XOMA.