Oxford BioMedica partners with ImaginAB in antibody research
Oxford – Oxford BioMedica plc joins forces with ImaginAb, Inc, a specialist in the development of engineered antibody fragments for diagnostic imaging. Under the terms of a research agreement announced yesterday, the US firm will engineer a companion PET and SPECT imaging agent based on an antibody that targets Oxford Biomedica’s proprietary 5T4 tumour antigen and is intended to be used to diagnose ovarian cancer.
With TroVax, Oxford BioMedica has a 5T4-specific therapeutic vaccine candidate in Phase II development. Furthermore, the gene therapy specialist is in preclinical co-development of a 5T4-targeted antibody therapy with Pfizer. The 5T4 tumour antigen is a unique protein found on most common types of solid cancer. It is a potential target for novel anti-cancer interventions given its restricted expression in normal tissues and its high prevalence on the surface of both primary and metastatic cancerous cells.
Following proof-of-concept, the agreement of Oxford Biomedica with ImaginAb includes an option for the US firm to negotiate an exclusive license for commercialisation of a an 4T5-antibody-based imaging diagnostic. Oxford BioMedica could receive proceeds of up to US$4 million as well as royalties on product sales. Just last month the British firm expanded its existing 5T4 antibody therapeutics collaboration with Pfizer to include diagnostic use of 5T4 antibodies The amended deal grants Pfizer non-exclusive rights for the diagnostic use of 5T4 antibodies and includes an option for commercialisation of a 5T4-based diagnostic.