Almirall signs a strategic agreement with 23andMe to license rights of a bispecific monoclonal antibody that blocks all three isoforms of IL-36 cytokine
BARCELONA, Spain and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Almirall, S.A. (ALM), a leading global pharmaceutical company focused on medical dermatology, and 23andMe, the leading consumer genetics and research company, have signed an agreement allowing Almirall to in-license 23andMe's bispecific monoclonal antibody designed to block all three members of the IL-36 cytokine subfamily. IL-36 is a part of the IL-1 cytokine family, which is associated with multiple inflammatory diseases, including various dermatological conditions. Almirall will secure the rights to develop and commercialize the antibody for worldwide use. This agreement will strengthen Almirall's early-stage research portfolio.
23andMe's Therapeutics team was established in 2015 with the goal of leveraging human genetic information to improve the way drug discovery is currently conducted. With more than 10 million kits sold, and 80% of customers consenting to research, 23andMe has the world's largest set of genotypic information paired with billions of phenotypic data points contributed by engaged customers. 23andMe's dedicated Therapeutics group identifies novel targets using the 23andMe database, generates lead compounds to these targets and performs preclinical research to support future clinical development. Currently, 23andMe has a portfolio of research programs across multiple disease areas.
Based upon strong genetic evidence, 23andMe's team generated a bispecific antibody that blocks the IL-36 cytokine family. 23andMe has out-licensed its bispecific monoclonal antibody to Almirall in order to leverage Almirall's expertise in medical dermatology and accelerate the development of this preclinical program. Almirall will further progress the antibody with the goal of taking it through clinical trials in humans and onto the market.
Bhushan Hardas, MD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer Almirall, says, "The partnership with 23andMe, a leader in genetics and biotechnology, gives us a unique opportunity to address the unmet medical needs in Immuno-dermatology."
Kenneth Hillan, M.B., Ch.B., Head of Therapeutics at 23andMe stated, "Working with Almirall, we're pleased to be furthering 23andMe's mission of helping people benefit from genetic insights. As a leader in medical dermatology, we felt Almirall was the best company to take this program forward and ultimately develop an effective therapy for patients."
Almirall is a leading skin-health focused global pharmaceutical company that partners with healthcare professionals, applying science to provide medical solutions to patients and future generations. Our efforts are focused on fighting skin health diseases and helping people feel better. We support healthcare professionals in their continuous improvements, providing our innovative solutions where they are needed.
The company was founded almost 75 years ago and has its headquarters in Barcelona. It is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange (ticker: ALM). Almirall has become a key source of value creation for society thanks to its commitment to its principal shareholders and its decision to help others by understanding their challenges and using science to provide solutions for real life. Total revenues in 2018 were 811 million euros. Almirall has more than 1,800 employees dedicated to research.
For more information see www.almirall.es.
23andMe, Inc. is the leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company was named by TIME as a "Genius Company" in 2018, and featured as Fast Company's #2 Most Innovative Health Company in 2018. 23andMe has millions of customers worldwide, with more than 80 percent of customers consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. More information is available at www.23andMe.com.
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Company Codes: SpanishCats:ALM