Adimab enters bispecific antibody deal with Sanofi

Sanofi will have the rights to all therapeutic antibodies and bispecifics resulting from the collaboration

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LEBANON, N.H.—Recently, Adimab LLC, which has focused on the discovery of fully human antibodies and bispecifics (single molecules that combine to more than one target), announced a multitarget discovery and optimization collaboration with Sanofi.
Under the terms of the one-year agreement, Adimab will use its proprietary platform to generate bispecific molecules against multiple targets. Sanofi will have the right to develop and commercialize all therapeutic antibodies and bispecifics resulting from the collaboration.
Adimab and Sanofi have structured the deal so that Adimab will use its proprietary discovery and optimization platform to identify fully human antibodies or bispecifics against multiple targets. For each project, the agreement grants Sanofi the right to research antibodies and bispecifics generated during the collaboration for potential use as therapeutic products. Under the terms of the agreement, Adimab will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, research fees and technical milestones. In addition, for each target, Sanofi will have the option to exclusively license antibodies and bispecifics generated during the collaboration. If Sanofi exercises its option for a particular therapeutic lead, Adimab will receive license fees, clinical milestones and royalties on product sales.
Adimab was founded in 2007 by Dr. Tillman Gerngross, Dr. Dane Wittrup and Errik Anderson with the goal of creating long-term value with top-tier pharmaceutical companies as well as highly innovative biotechnology companies that share its passion for bringing best-in-class molecules to patients quickly.
Gerngross is a full professor at Dartmouth College and the co-founder of six biotechnology companies. Wittrup is a full professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-founder of two companies and a pioneer in yeast surface display for the discovery and maturation of antibody fragments. Anderson, the co-founder of five biotechnology companies, has advised or co-founded numerous technology companies as a venture capitalist and technology entrepreneur.
By working closely with more than 30 partners, the company has discovered antibodies for a wide variety of therapeutic targets within many disease areas, including oncology, immunomodulation, inflammation, neuroscience and pain, cardiovascular and metabolic disease and infectious disease. Adimab is a service-oriented technology company that works with its partners to discover best-in-class molecules with the goal of long-term, joint value creation, according to Guy Van Meter, vice president of business development, who came from Pfizer.
Adimab’s funded discovery partners include many leading pharmaceutical companies, such as Merck, Roche, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Gilead, Kyowa Hakko Kirin and Celgene. Adimab has strategically partnered with many other companies as well, including Merrimack, Five Prime, Jounce, Innovent, Alector, Acceleron, Oncothyreon, Surface Oncology, Potenza and Arsanis. In addition, Adimab has transferred its platform for broad use to GSK, Biogen Idec and Novo Nordisk.
As in every collaboration, Adimab uses its yeast-based technology to help its partners find binders to be stable or express well, according to Van Meter. “We focus on the technology, not building our own platform,” he explains. “Then a company like Sanofi has the capability to move products into the clinic eventually.”
According to Gerngross, “Adimab has recently emerged as a major player in the bispecifics discovery space. Our unique protein engineering capabilities allow us to rapidly build libraries around almost any bispecific construct. All leads are ‘filtered’ through Adimab’s genetically modified yeast strain leading to well-expressing and stable therapeutic leads that can readily be assessed for biological function. No other technology can create such a diverse panel of functional and developable leads in such a short time.”
Van Meter says that Adimab offers a rapid discovery cycle of approximately one month to find functionality quickly and optimize its partners’ therapeutic programs. “Staying at the cutting edge of technology is the best strategy,” he concludes.

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