Adimab Announces 50th Therapeutic Program Under Its Funded Discovery Partnerships

June 20, 2014 Lebanon, NH PDF

Adimab, LLC, a leader in the discovery and optimization of monoclonal and bispecific antibodies, today announced the 50th therapeutic program under its funded discovery partnerships. Adimab launched its antibody discovery and optimization platform in the middle of 2009 and in less than five years has formed collaborations with more than 20 partners encompassing 50 therapeutic programs. In addition, Adimab announced today that new commercial licenses have been exercised from the funded discovery partnerships with Arsanis Biosciences, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Mersana Therapeutics.

Funded Discovery Partnerships

Under Adimab’s funded discovery partnerships, Adimab applies its proprietary platform to generate therapeutic antibodies against any target of a partner’s interest. Adimab’s funded discovery partners include top pharmaceutical companies such as Merck, Roche, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Biogen Idec, Novo Nordisk, Gilead, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Pfizer, Celgene and innovative biotechnology companies such as Arsanis, Jounce, Five Prime Therapeutics, Alector, Mersana, and others. Adimab typically receives various upfront payments, commercial license fees, development milestones, and downstream milestones and royalties on product sales.

“Adimab’s antibody discovery and optimization platform is remarkable. This has been a highly successful partnership for Arsanis,” commented Eszter Nagy, President, CSO and co-founder of Arsanis Biosciences. “Our therapeutic program was technically quite challenging and aimed for antibodies binding to several target molecules that share limited homology, but Adimab’s protein engineering capabilities enabled us to generate exceptional lead candidates.”

“The epitope coverage generated by Adimab’s platform is absolutely impressive,” said Donald A. Bergstrom, MD, PhD, CMO of Mersana. “In our collaborative efforts on multiple targets, Adimab’s technology identified a never-before reported epitope, and provided us with multiple, diverse lead antibodies for our pre-clinical program. We have selected an antibody for our target of interest which is an ideal fit with Mersana’s strategy of highly customized, next generation ADCs.”

Adimab’s novel and proprietary yeast-based platform has significant advantages over traditional antibody discovery approaches, such as phage display, yeast display, and in vivo approaches. The Adimab yeast has been extensively engineered with over 20 genetic modifications, which allow for large and diverse libraries, efficient transport of developable, whole IgGs and large bispecific molecules through the secretory pathway, and presentation on the cell surface. Adimab rapidly generates panels of leads across all possible epitopes and initial functional leads can undergo protein engineering to create the highest quality therapeutic programs.

In light of achieving this milestone, Tillman Gerngross, CEO and co-founder of Adimab, observed, “Our industry is evolving, and companies are clearly seeking advantages for their programs at the discovery stage in order to be competitive and justify the significant expenses associated with drug development. In addition, targets are getting more challenging, and therapeutic molecules are getting more complex. Rapid protein engineering is the solution.”

“We believe that partnerships with Adimab continue to be in high demand because our collaborators value the versatility and speed of our platform. Our partners are able to precisely define the quality and characteristics of their antibodies – or bispecifics – and our highly efficient protein engineering capabilities yield the desired candidates to provide them with a competitive advantage over others in the industry,” added Guy Van Meter, Adimab’s Head of Business Development.

New Commercial Licenses

Several of Adimab’s funded discovery partners have exercised options to obtain commercial licenses for the antibodies generated under Adimab’s Funded Discovery Program.

• Arsanis Biosciences has exercised a commercial license to antibodies identified by Adimab to multiple undisclosed targets. Arsanis has exclusive development and commercialization rights to such antibodies. This is the second commercial license exercised by Arsanis.

• Merrimack Pharmaceuticals has exercised a commercial license to antibodies identified by Adimab to an undisclosed target. Merrimack has exclusive development and commercialization rights to such antibodies.This is the second commercial license exercised by Merrimack.

• In addition, Mersana Therapeutics has exercised a commercial license to antibodies identified by Adimab to an undisclosed target. Mersana has exclusive development and commercialization rights to such antibodies.This is the first commercial license exercised by Mersana.