AbbVie and I-Mab Enter Into Global Strategic Partnership for Differentiated Immuno-oncology Therapy
September 8, 2020, 7:22:23 AM
AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) and I-Mab (Nasdaq: IMAB) announced today that AbbVie and I-Mab have signed a broad, global collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of lemzoparlimab (also known as TJC4), an innovative anti-CD47 monoclonal antibody internally discovered and developed by I-Mab for the treatment of multiple cancers. In addition, the two partners have the potential to expand the collaboration to additional transformative therapies.
Lemzoparlimab is one of the leading drug candidates among I-Mab's proprietary and innovative pipeline. It is designed to minimize inherent binding to normal red blood cells while preserving its strong anti-tumor activity, a critical attribute in potentially differentiating lemzoparlimab from other antibodies of the same class currently in development. Topline results of the recent phase 1 clinical trial confirm possible differentiation of lemzoparlimab in drug safety and a more favorable pharmacokinetics profile in cancer patients. Results have shown that lemzoparlimab is well tolerated as a single agent at a dose range of up to 30 mg/kg without any priming dose. In all DLT-evaluable patients, no dose-limiting toxicities or severe hematologic adverse events were observed. Full data will be presented at an appropriate scientific conference later this year.
"Cancer is the second-leading cause of death globally and the need for novel cancer therapies has never been more acute. The addition of I-Mab's novel CD47 programs complements our global clinical strategy in hematology and immuno-oncology," said Thomas J. Hudson, M.D., senior vice president of R&D and chief scientific officer, AbbVie. "We have been impressed with what I-Mab has been able to accomplish in research and clinical development and we look forward to working together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of patients globally."
"At the forefront of drug innovation, our goal at I-Mab has always been to bring transformational therapies to patients globally. This strategic collaboration reinforces I-Mab's leading position in immuno-oncology and enables us to realize the full potential of our innovation," said Jingwu Zang, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, Honorary Chairman and Director of I-Mab. "We are extremely proud to partner with AbbVie. By leveraging the combined development strength of our companies, we aim to speed lemzoparlimab to market for patients in need around the world."
The collaboration established today provides AbbVie with an exclusive global license, excluding greater China, to develop and commercialize lemzoparlimab. Both companies will collaborate to design and conduct further global clinical trials to evaluate lemzoparlimab in multiple cancers. I-Mab retains all rights to develop and to commercialize lemzoparlimab in mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong. The collaboration also allows for potential collaboration on future CD47-related therapeutic agents. Each party will have the opportunity subject to further licenses to explore each other's related programs in their respective territories.
The companies will share manufacturing responsibilities with AbbVie being the primary manufacturer for global supply. The collaboration will accelerate I-Mab's establishment of commercial production operations in China.
Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will pay I-Mab $180 million in an upfront payment to exclusively license lemzoparlimab, along with $20 million in a milestone payment based on the Phase 1 results, for a total of $200 million. In addition, I-Mab will be eligible to receive up to $1.74 billion in success-based milestone payments for lemzoparlimab, of which $840 million are based on clinical development and regulatory approval milestones, with the remainder based on commercial milestones. Upon commercialization of lemzoparlimab, AbbVie will also pay tiered royalties from low-to-mid teen percentages on global net sales outside of greater China.
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