F-star inks agreement with AbbVie

To research and develop bispecific antibodies in immuno-oncology

F-star, a clinical-stage developer of bispecific antibody immuno-oncology products with operations in Austria and the UK, has entered into a collaboration with AbbVie to research and develop bispecific antibodies in immuno-oncology.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Immuno-oncology uses the body’s natural immune response to fight cancer and combination immunotherapies are showing particular promise as cancer therapies, even compared with the advances made with monoclonal antibodies, the firm said. As the field develops further, bispecific antibodies have the potential for further improved potency, safety profile and cost efficiency compared with combination therapies.

John Haurum, Chief Executive at F-star, said: 'Bispecific antibodies are expected to be the cornerstone of the next generation of immuno-oncology products and this collaboration validates our technology as truly novel and differentiated in the space.

'We are very excited to be working with AbbVie on these immuno-oncology programmes to develop new bispecific antibodies.'

F-star’s Modular Antibody Technology platform introduces an antigen binding site into the constant region of an antibody to create a so-called Fcab (an Fc-domain with antigen binding activity). An Fcab can then be used to make many different bispecific antibodies (mAb2) using variable regions binding to second targets.

Under the agreement, the two firms will create Fcabs against two immuno-oncology targets and generate several mAb2 drug development candidates from them.

The AbbVie research activities for this collaboration will be led by AbbVie Biotherapeutics.

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