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Genentech to develop 'highly active cytokine' with Xancor in deal worth $300m

Published on 06/02/19 at 10:34am

Roche’s Genentech unit has agreed to pay $120 million upfront as part of a research and licensing deal with California-based firm Xancor to develop IL-15 cytokine therapeutics in oncology.

The agreement will see Roche gain the rights to Xancor’s XmAb24306, an IL-15/IL-15 receptor alpha cytokine complex engineered with the company's bispecific Fc domain and Xtend Fc technology.

Xencor will receive $120 million upfront, and up to $180 million in developmental milestones and profit share from commercialised medicines.

“This partnership with Genentech accelerates our immuno-oncology work by enabling the exploration of novel XmAb24306 combinations with Genentech's leading oncology portfolio and our growing internal pipeline of bispecific antibodies,” said Dr Bassil Dahiyat, president and chief executive officer at Xencor. “A wide-ranging combination strategy will be critical to realize the potential of IL-15 bispecific cytokines such as XmAb24306, so we plan to explore our cytokines with a broad spectrum of leading commercial-stage and investigational cancer therapies.”

“We believe cytokine therapy will play an important role in the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including cancer,” said Dr James Sabry, global head of Pharma Partnering, Roche. “This collaboration with Xencor will further enhance our understanding of a critical immune activation pathway and may present a potential new way to use the immune system to target cancer.”

Louis Goss

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