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4-Antibody AG and the Ludwig Institute expand oncology antibody R&D program with three new targets
January 29, 2013—Basel, Switzerland and New York, NY: 4-Antibody AG and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (the Ludwig Institute) today announced the signing of a multi-target R&D collaboration with Recepta Biopharma SA, the leading Brazilian developer of therapeutic antibodies founded by the Ludwig Institute and Brazilian investors. This represents an expansion of a partnership the Ludwig Institute and 4-Antibody initiated over a year ago. Financial details were not disclosed.
The focus of the research and clinical development partnership will be the generation and development of three antibody products targeting immune checkpoints important in cancer therapy. 4-Antibody will use its high-throughput Retrocyte Display® technology platform to generate and produce fully human therapeutic antibodies against three targets with key roles in the suppression of immune responses in patients with cancer. The parties anticipate the first candidate to enter clinical trials in early 2015. The Ludwig Institute will validate the new constructs and then, together with Recepta Biopharma, take these antibody drugs into early clinical testing in cancer in both the United States and Brazil, respectively.
Under the terms of the deal, 4-Antibody and Ludwig jointly own the antibody drugs while Recepta Biopharma obtains exclusive commercial rights to Brazil in return for undisclosed licensing fees. 4-Antibody will take the lead securing commercialization partners for the antibody drugs in territories outside Brazil on behalf of itself and Ludwig. Future returns from the collaboration outside of Brazil will be shared among the three parties.
“We are expanding our pre-existing research and development alliance with the Ludwig Institute to include new clinically validated immune checkpoint targets in this exciting and fast developing field in cancer immunotherapy. Our near-term goal is to generate early data which will guide decisions on both optimum combination therapies as well as final product formats,” said Robert Burns, PhD, CEO of 4-Antibody.
“We have seen tremendous progress in the development of treatments that harness the power of the immune system to better detect and treat cancer. This expanded collaboration will enable us to identify and evaluate new combinations of treatments to facilitate the development of the next generation of more potent immunotherapy drugs,” concluded Jonathan Skipper, PhD, the Ludwig Institute’s Executive Director of Technology Development.
Fernando Perez, PhD, Recepta’s CEO, added, “Recepta is committed to developing and testing innovative antibody-based cancer treatments for patients. This partnership expands our pipeline to include the development and testing of the next generation of immunomodulatory drugs, further strengthening Recepta’s role in the Brazilian biotechnology health market.”
About 4-Antibody AG
4-Antibody is a biopharmaceutical company with a powerful fully-human antibody drug-discovery technology platform which is generating an emerging pipeline of antibody therapeutics. The company’s proprietary discovery engine is the in vitro Retrocyte Display® technology, a fast and highly efficient source of antibody drug candidates. Retrocyte Display® generates high quality therapeutic antibody drug candidates quickly using a rapid, high-throughput, flow cytometry approach incorporating full-length IgG format human antibody libraries expressed in mammalian B cells. 4-Antibody provides access to its technologies to select pharmaceutical R&D collaborators by license and technology transfer or by the provision of contract services through its collaboration with Hamburg based Evotec AG. 4-Antibody is also generating an in-house pipeline of antibody drugs. 4-Antibody is a private company with strong, commercially-experienced leadership located in Basel, Switzerland and Jena, Germany. For more information please visit: http://www.4-antibody.com
About the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
The Ludwig Institute is an international non-profit organization committed to improving the understanding and control of cancer through integrated laboratory and clinical discovery. Leveraging its worldwide network of investigators and the ability to sponsor and conduct its own clinical trials, the Institute is actively engaged in translating its discoveries into applications for patient benefit. Since its establishment in 1971, the Institute has spent more than $1.5 billion on cancer research. http://www.licr.org
RECEPTA biopharma is a biotechnology company dedicated to the research and development of new drugs to be used in the treatment of cancer. RECEPTA was created as a result of a partnership of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Brazilian private investors later joined by the National Bank for Social and Economic Development (BNDES). Recepta has already taken two therapeutic antibodies to clinical development and it was the first Brazilian company ever to conduct a Phase II trial for cancer. RECEPTA biopharma is also dedicated to generating new biological therapeutic agents for clinical use. More information at http://www.receptabiopharma.com.br
Dr Robert Burns
Director of Communications
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
t: +1 212.450.1582
Dr Robert Mayer
Dr José Fernando Perez
Recepta Biopharma SA
t: + 55.11.3709.2140