The partnership, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will see Davos supply the fully-human antibodies as part of the range of drug discovery services it provides for contract research organizations (CRO) and pharmaceutical developers.
US-based Immunologix will manufacture the antibodies at its laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina using an in-vitro platform it exclusively licensed from scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina.
The system uses B-cells harvested from human tonsils collected from patients who have undergone tonsillectomies to produce monoclonal antibodies and is an approach that, Davos president Barry Robins, said offers significant advantages for developers.
“The technology that we now offer through this strategic alliance will have an immediate impact on shorter development times, costs, and reduction of adverse effects due to immunogenicity which often derail therapeutic antibody programs.”
Immunologix founder Ryan Fiorini was equally positive about the partnership, adding that: “It will help in bringing our game changing technology to the pharmaceutical marketplace.”
The deal is one of a number Immunologix has signed with a contract research organization in the last few months. In November last year, for example, it entered into an agreement with early-development and scale-up services firm GenScript.
That agreement, like the Davos deal, aims to cater for growing pharmaceutical and CRO sector demand for technologies that will accelerate and improve the quality of discovery and early phase drug research.
The global antibody therapeutics market, worth around $27.4bn in 2008, will generate revenue of some $67.6bn by 2015 according to recent analysis by GBI Research.
This growth is likely to attract the attention of a drug industry keen to maintain profitability and, in turn, generate business for the contract research organisations that serve this highly specialised part of the market.