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Shire Snaps Up Rights to Preclinical Autoimmune Candidate for Undisclosed Sum

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, January 30th, 2018


Shire Snaps Up Rights to a Preclinical Autoimmune Candidate for Undisclosed Sum


By Alex Keown


Rare disease giant Shire plc plunked down an undisclosed sum to get its hands on a preclinical autoimmune drug candidate being developed by AB Biosciences.

This morning, the companies announced the licensing and development agreement for AB’s pan receptor interacting molecule (PRIM) program. The PRIM program uses AB Biosciences’ proprietary oligomeric Fc technology platform. In its announcement, AB and Shire said PRIM, “a recombinant immunoglobulin product candidate, has shown encouraging preclinical data, including enhanced biological activity relative to currently approved intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapies, in preclinical models of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”

AB Biosciences’ PRIM (pan receptor interacting molecule) is a novel protein therapeutic for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. AB said preparation of human IVIg contains immune complexes, which also contain multiple antibody and antigen molecules that are known to modulate immune responses through their interactions with Fc receptors. PRIM protein contains three immunoglobulin constant regions and can effectively bind to Fc receptors similar to that of immune complexes, the company said. AB Biosciences added that in contrast to human IVIg, production of PRIM protein does not require the traditional plasma collection of thousands of individuals and safety tests for infectious agents. Furthermore, without the bulk of monomeric immunoglobulin, PRIM has the potential to be biologically active at lower doses. As such, alternative, non-intravenous routes of administration may be feasible.

Yen-Ming Hsu, president and chief executive officer of AB Biosciences, said the deal with Shire gives the companies the opportunity to accelerate the development of the PRIM program. A strong development program can potentially bring new treatments to patients with autoimmune and inflammatory disorders that are currently treated with the traditional human IVIg preparations, Hsu said.

Andreas Busch, Shire’s head of R&D and chief scientific officer, said the company is pleased with the innovations AB Biosciences has shown in the area of antibody technology and protein design.

“The novel design of this investigational antibody-derived recombinant protein therapeutic and promising biological activity demonstrated in preclinical models makes the PRIM program an exciting opportunity for Shire to further expand its leadership and commitment to treating patients with autoimmune disorders,” Busch said.

Under terms of the deal, Shire was granted an exclusive license to the intellectual property relating to AB Bioscience’s PRIM program. AB will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Shire and will be eligible to receive additional development and milestone payments. No further terms of the agreement were disclosed.

“As a global biotech leader in the development and commercialization of biologic therapeutics, Shire is the ideal development and commercialization partner for our innovative PRIM program, particularly given their proven developmental expertise and continuing success in their IVIg commercial franchise,” Hsu added.

BioSpace source:

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