Swedish Orphan Biovitrum Enters Research Collaboration With Affibody Within the IL-1 Field
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN--(Marketwire - July 10, 2012) - Sobi has signed a research collaboration and option agreement with the Swedish biotech company Affibody AB for the discovery and development of novel treatments for inflammatory diseases where Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is implicated.
The research will be based on Affibody's proprietary technology platforms Affibody® molecules and Albumod™ and includes up to five different targets within the IL-1 field. All targets are key proteins involved in the regulation of human immune and inflammatory processes. One project is a lead candidate for the inhibition of IL-1 beta at the preclinical phase, and the others are in discovery.
The agreement covers an initial two-year period during which Sobi has an option to enter into a licensing agreement with worldwide exclusive rights to any or all of the development projects. The agreement includes a payment by Sobi in the amount of SEK 12 M, of which SEK 2.5 M at signing and the remaining part to be paid over a 21-months period. In addition, the licensing agreement includes potential future milestones and royalty after the two year period.
The IL-1 segment offers a good fit with Sobi's commercial focus with Kineret® in the Inflammation therapeutic area, and with the Company's strategic biologics development capabilities. The research will be carried out by both companies and will be led by a joint steering committee. Affibody will have responsibility through the discovery phase, and Sobi for clinical development. Each company will bear their own costs. The agreement follows an earlier collaboration between the companies regarding a biological candidate which has recently been moved into IND-enabling studies.
"This agreement with Affibody deepens our collaboration by establishing a strategic alliance in the area of inflammation," says CEO Geoffrey McDonough. "We believe the Affibody® platform offers potentially unique therapeutic advantages, and the efficient translation from discovery to biologics development offered by our close association fits our innovation model very well. This alliance allows us to take a positive step toward a more robust presence in the inflammation field going forward."
"We are excited to extend our relationship with Sobi," says David Bejker, CEO of Affibody. "IL-1 biology offers a number of opportunities to address unmet medical needs and we believe that Sobi is in a good position to capitalize on this segment based on their capabilities and existing presence in the field."
The Interleukin 1 family is a group of pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a central role in the regulation of immune responses in the human body. The cytokines are produced by different cells such as macrophages, monocytes and fibroblasts, and via binding to cellular IL-1 receptors they participate in acute and chronic inflammatory reactions. In addition, the IL-1 system is also involved in several other biological functions, such as metabolic and hematopoietic activities. Recently, members of the IL-1 family have emerged as therapeutic targets for an expanding number of auto-inflammatory diseases where inhibition of IL-1 activity may form the basis for novel treatments.
Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi)
Sobi is a leading integrated biopharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing innovative therapies and services to improve the lives of rare disease patients. The product portfolio is primarily focused on Inflammation and on Genetics and Metabolism, and three late stage biological development projects within hemophilia and neonatology. Sobi also has a portfolio of more than 40 products which it commercializes on behalf of specialty and rare disease partners companies. In 2011, Sobi had revenues of SEK 1.9 billion and around 500 employees. The share (STO: SOBI) is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. More information is available at www.sobi.com.
Affibody is a Swedish biotech company focused on developing the next generation of biopharmaceuticals based on its unique proprietary technology platforms: Affibody® molecules and Albumod™. Affibody® molecules are a novel class of antibody mimetics. Albumod™ is designed to enhance the efficacy of biopharmaceuticals by extending their circulatory half-life. Affibody has ongoing commercial relationships with several companies including Algeta, Amylin, Sobi, GE Healthcare, and Thermo Fisher. The Company was founded in 1998 by researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Major shareholders in the Company include HealthCap and Investor Growth Capital. More information is available at www.affibody.se.
The information above has been published pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was released for public distribution on 10 July 2012 at 8.30 a.m. CET.
Sobi press release on July 10, 2012 in pdf version: http://hugin.info/134557/R/1625415/519913.pdf
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Source: Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ) via Thomson Reuters ONE
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