Drug Development

AstraZeneca spins out a bispecific antibody into a new cancer biotech with partner AbPro

Jane Osbourn, MedImmune

Jane Osbourn, MedImmune

AstraZeneca’s big subsidiary MedImmune and synthetic biology player AbPro are joining forces on a spin-out company which will undertake the development of a preclinical bispecific antibody that targets two key pathways involved in cancer.

The deal builds on MedImmune’s teamwork on first creating the bispecific, which inhibits both Ang2 and VEGF pathways. AbPro will now employ its synthetic biology platform to refine the therapy and take it into the clinic with a spinout company operating under its organization.

The new company will be called AbMed, which will hold the development and commercialization rights while MedImmune gets a minority stake and a slate of unspecified milestones.

This isn’t the first bispecific focused on these two targets. A number of preclinical efforts have been fielded to explore pathways that can target cancer tumors, inhibiting angiogenesis and blocking metastasis. Roche recently suspended its monotherapy work on vanucizumab — a bispecific with the same targets — after it failed a Phase II, though combo studies will continue as planned.

Jane Osbourn, MedImmune’s vice president of R&D, said:

“We believe partners like AbPro can help us maximize our extensive pre-clinical portfolio to advance therapies for patients.”


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