Twist and Astellas Partner on Antibody Discovery Program

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Twist Bioscience Co. announced a partnership with Astellas Pharma on Monday, seeking to discover antibodies against several targets to hit on curative therapies for hard-to-treat diseases.

Biotech Bay-based Twist Biosciences focuses on synthetic biology and genomics company to develop a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a technology to of manufacturing synthetic DNA by “writing” DNA on a silicon chip.

For its part, Japan-based Astellas seeks to create new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on biology and modality, according to the company.

“The depth and breadth [of this research] enable highly potent antibodies, often missed using other technologies, to be identified across multiple potential therapeutic areas,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Twist will conduct antibody discovery activities against multiple targets identified by Astellas. Besides upfront payment and project-specific research fees, Twist will be eligible to receive up to $11 million per product through payments associated with defined clinical and commercial milestones.

Twist will also be eligible to receive royalty payments on product sales. Astellas will be responsible for developing, manufacturing and commercializing the products.

This is the second collaboration between the companies.

In May 2022, Twist and Astellas signed their first deal— a research partnership and exclusive option license agreement to develop antibodies to lower tumor microenvironment-mediated immunosuppression.

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