Will develop T Reg checkpoint inhibitors with leading authorities on cancer immunotherapies
Swedish company BioInvent International has signed a three-year research collaboration with the University of Southampton (UoS).
The collaboration aims to develop new immunotherapy treatments for cancer by targeting regulatory T cells (T regs). The programme builds on the clinical successes of antibodies to so-called T cell checkpoint inhibitors.
The UoS group is one of the world’s leading antibody research teams, under the direction of Professor Mark Cragg, Professor of Experimental Cancer Research and Director of the Cancer Pathway Integrated Postgraduate Programme.
This new collaboration is separate from two existing research programmes in place between the two parties.
Although financial terms have not been disclosed, BioInvent will have the option to license any promising results for further development and commercialisation. Under the agreement, both parties will contribute to intellectual property generation.
BioInvent has the capacity, through its F.I.R.S.T. screening tool and the antibody library n-CoDeR, to generate a large number of T cell depleting antibodies. UoS has capabilities to test and evaluate potential lead candidates in several advanced in vitro and in vivo models. The collaboration between BioInvent and UoS around n-CoDeR antibodies targeting human T regs for cancer therapy uses the strengths of both groups.
Professor Cragg commented: 'We look forward to building on the strength of our collaborative relationship with BioInvent, which should allow us to remain at the cutting edge of antibody immunotherapy for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide.
'We look forward to working with BioInvent’s extensive antibody library and its novel targeting platform to establish several lead candidates for clinical development in this very important area of cancer research.'
Björn Frendéus, Chief Scientific Officer of BioInvent and honorary Professor at the University of Southampton, added: 'BioInvent’s phenotypic target and mAb discovery platform, F.I.R.S.T., are ideally suited to identify a great diversity of human mAb with cancer T reg depleting or modulating activity. In collaboration with our colleagues in Southampton, we aim to generate more efficacious and safer immune modulatory antibodies for cancer treatments.'